'Will it ever end?': After Texas shooting, calls for stricter gun laws get louder as condolences pour in

Following the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday that killed at least 26 people, several leaders and celebrities condemned the senseless violence and offered condolences to the affected while calling for stricter gun control laws in the US.

US president Donald Trump on Monday condemned what he described as a "horrific shooting," after the rampage at the Texas church.

 Will it ever end?: After Texas shooting, calls for stricter gun laws get louder as condolences pour in

Locals hold a candlelight vigil for the victims of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. AP

"This act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of worship. Our hearts are broken," Trump said on a visit to Japan.

"We pull together, we join arms ... through the tears and the sadness we stand strong," added the president, addressing business leaders on day two of his Asian trip.

A gunman stormed into a Baptist church in rural Sutherland Springs during Sunday morning services and began shooting at the people.

The shooter, whose motives were not immediately clear, was dressed in black and wearing a ballistic vest, authorities said.

Officials didn't identify the attacker during a news conference Sunday night, but two other officials — one a US official and one in law enforcement — who were briefed on the investigation identified him as Devin Kelley. Media reports added that he had been dishonorably discharged from the Air Force.

Along with Trump, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe also expressed his condolences on Twitter. Trump touched down in Japan on Sunday, kicking off a grueling and consequential trip to Asia during which he'll exhort allies and rivals to step up efforts to counter the dangers posed by North Korea's nuclear threat.

Condolences poured in from all over the US on Twitter, with many calling for stricter gun control laws. Here are a few reactions:

 

 

At the news conference, Freeman Martin, the regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the attacker crossed the street and started firing a Ruger AR rifle at the church, and continued after entering the building.

As he left, he was confronted by an armed resident who chased him. A short time later, the suspect was found dead in his vehicle at the county line, Martin said. There were several weapons inside.

Martin said it's unclear if the attacker died of a self-inflected wound or if he was shot by the resident who confronted him. He said investigators weren't ready to discuss a possible motive for the attack. He said the dead ranged in age from five to 72 years old. Twenty-three were found dead in the church, two were found outside and one died after being taken to a hospital.

Sutherland Springs, where the shooting took place, is in a rural area where communities are small and tight-knit. The area is known for its annual peanut festival in Floresville, which was held last month.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Nov 06, 2017 07:49:41 IST