Con­gre­gants kill shooter at church

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE -

Po­lice chief near Fort Worth, Texas, says “heroic ac­tions” cut at­tacker’s as­sault short.

WHITE SET­TLE­MENT, Texas — A man pulled out a shot­gun at a Texas church ser­vice and fired on wor­ship­pers Sun­day, killing two peo­ple be­fore he was shot to death by con­gre­gants who fired back, po­lice said.

Au­thor­i­ties at a Sun­day evening news con­fer­ence praised the con­gre­gants who opened fire as part of a vol­un­teer se­cu­rity team at West Free­way Church of Christ in White Set­tle­ment. It was un­clear if the two peo­ple who were killed were the two who shot at the gun­man.

“This team re­sponded quickly and within six sec­onds, the shoot­ing was over. Two of the parish­ioners who were vol­un­teers of the se­cu­rity force drew their weapons and took out the killer im­me­di­ately, sav­ing un­told num­ber of lives,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Pa­trick, who also hailed the state’s gun laws.

Britt Farmer, se­nior min­is­ter of the church, said, “We lost two great men to­day, but it could have been a lot worse.”

Au­thor­i­ties said there were more than 240 con­gre­gants in the West Free­way Church at the time of the shoot­ing.

White Set­tle­ment Po­lice De­part­ment Chief J.P. Bev­er­ing said the gun­man had sat down in a pew be­fore get­ting up, tak­ing out a shot­gun and fir­ing at a parish­ioner, who was killed. He said the church’s se­cu­rity team then “elim­i­nated the threat.”

Of­fi­cials have not re­leased the names of the vic­tims or the gun­man. FBI Spe­cial Agent in Charge Matthew De­Sarno said they’re work­ing to iden­tify the gun­man’s mo­tive, ad­ding that he is “rel­a­tively tran­sient” but had roots in the area.

De­Sarno also said the gun­man had been ar­rested mul­ti­ple times in the past but de­clined to give de­tails.

An el­der at the church told The New York Times that one of those killed was a se­cu­rity guard who re­sponded to the shooter, call­ing him a dear friend.

JUAN FIGUEROA/THE DAL­LAS MORNING NEWS

A per­son stands near the scene of a church shoot­ing on Sun­day in White Set­tle­ment, Texas.

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