The youngest victims in the mass shooting that took place in a small town Texas church on Sunday 5 November was just 18 months old, state officials have said. The age range of the 26 victims was said to be 18 months to 77 years. Another 20 were injured.
Authorities said that the man suspected of perpetrating the attack is thought to have died from a self-inflicted gun wound after crashing his car. Devin Patrick Kelley was being pursued by two members of the Sutherland Springs community when he was involved in the accident.
Officials identified Kelley as the man who started firing inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Other reports have suggested that Kelley had a violent past. He was confined for 12 months and discharged from the Air Force over allegations he assaulted his wife and child.
It is thought that Kelley's in-laws sometimes attended the church but were not there on the day of the attack. Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. said that there was "no way" for those assembled in the church to escape, according to the Associated Press, adding that the gunman wore black tactical gear and carried an assault rifle and two handguns.
Authorities said that Kelley's mother-in-law had received threatening text messages from him. Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said that the shooting was not racially or religiously motivated, according to AP.
A resort manager said that Kelley had recently begun working at a security guard. Officials said he was not legally permitted to carry firearms. Police said that Kelley had called his father after being shot and told him that he did not think he would survive.
US President Donald Trump described the gunman as a "very deranged individual" and said that the shooting was because of a "mental health problem at the highest level".