The Latest: Mass Shooting In Sutherland Springs, Texas

Nov 5, 2017
Originally published on November 5, 2017 9:32 pm
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NOEL KING, HOST:

We are turning back now to the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where officials say at least 26 people have died. As we heard earlier in the show, President Trump is in Asia, but he offered his condolences this evening.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I've spoken just a few minutes ago with Governor Abbott, and we offer our thanks to the first responders, the FBI, all of the many people involved, both federal and otherwise. Ultimately, they stopped the suspect and rendered immediate lifesaving aid to certain victims of the shooting. I will continue to follow the developments closely. All of America is praying to God to help the wounded and the families of the victims. We will never, ever leave their side - ever.

KING: NPR's Colin Dwyer is with me in studio. He's been covering the story from here in Washington. Colin, what do we know at this point?

COLIN DWYER, BYLINE: Well, of course, I open with the caveat that our knowledge of the situation continues to evolve. But here is what we learned at the most recent press conference offered by local authorities. They laid out a timeline. A young white man dressed in black tactical gear was seen moving toward the church around 11:20. At that point, he began to fire an assault-style rifle outside the church, continued to go inside that church, continued to fire on parishioners.

Shortly after that he left, and he attempted to escape in his vehicle. At that point, actually, a local resident took out his own firearm and began firing on the suspect. The suspect drove away and at a later point crashed and was found dead in his vehicle. At this point we do not know the circumstances of that death, whether he died of a wound inflicted by the local resident or by a self-inflicted wound.

KING: We learned a lot in this official press conference this afternoon - this evening. But there still is a lot that we don't know. What are some of the things that are still up in the air?

DWYER: That's right. And for one thing, we do not know the gunman's name yet officially. Authorities have not released that name. They've also not released the victims' names. They had - they did say that victims range in age from as young as 5 years old to as old as 72 years old. But they have not released those names. They want to speak to the victims' families before they do so.

And another major question mark that remains is his motive. Authorities do not know that. And in fact, one official at the news conference specifically said, if you came wanting to know the motive, you're going to leave here disappointed. That comes down to the investigation to come. And local authorities, state authorities, federal authorities are all collaborating on that investigation.

KING: A lot of work to be done and a real tragedy for this community. NPR's Colin Dwyer, thank you so much.

DWYER: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYCHO'S "SLACK") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.