Texas church shooting: Gunman opens fire during communion service killing 2 before parishioner shoots him dead
One of the victims, who shot the gunman, was a member of the church's trained security team — licensed to carry guns and practice shooting regularly
WHITE SETTLEMENT, TEXAS: Two people were killed in a Texas church on Sunday, December 29, after a shooter opened fire at a church service in the West Freeway Church of Christ, White Settlement near Forth Worth, Texas, according to White Settlement Police Department Chief J.P. Bevering.
One of the victims who died shot the shooter who succumbed to his injuries. The service was live-streamed and the gunman can be seen in the video talking to someone at the back before taking his gun out and shooting.
A witness told CBS News Dallas that the shooter shot his shotgun during the communion and another member jumped into action, shooting him. "It was the most scariest thing. You feel like your life is flashing before you. I was so worried about my little one," Isabel Arreola told the outlet.
"Unfortunately, this country has seen so many of these that we've actually gotten used to it at this point. And it's tragic and it's a terrible situation, especially during the holiday season," Jeoff Williams, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at the news conference, according to Associated Press.
"I would like to point out that we have a couple of heroic parishioners who stopped short of just anything that you can even imagine, saved countless lives, and our hearts are going out to them and their families as well."
Very little information has been revealed about the shooter and the parishioners that died. According to a New York Times report, at the time of the shooting, close to 300 people were present at the church.
One of the victims was a member of the church's trained security team, who are licensed to carry guns and practice shooting regularly.
Mike Tinius, an elder at the church, said he had known that victim for more than 20 years. "He was trying to do what he needed to do to protect the rest of us," Tinius said, adding, "It's extremely upsetting to see anyone committing violence."
"We are working very hard to find a motive, to get to the bottom of what happened," Matthew J. DeSarno, the FBI's special agent in charge in Dallas said, according to the publication. Two people with minor injuries were treated at the scene, MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokeswoman Macara Trusty said.