San Antonio, Texas - At least 26 people were killed when a gunman opened fire on First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, a rural community in Texas Sunday, law enforcement officials said. The victims ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years and included at least eight members of an extended family as well as a mother and her two young daughters, family members and officials said.
San Antonio Observer's Editorial Board Chair, Christopher Herring was interviewed by WVON 1690AM in Chicago on the Midday Show with veteran journalist and radio host Ms Perri Small. Ms Small asked basic about emergency response, basic questions about the San Antonio area, and why particular shootings like this are not classified as acts of terrorism. Perri indicated the President didn't call this man an "animal" as he has done so in other instances. Herring replied, "when Black individuals retaliate for being unhappy with how the government or justice system responds to seemly unfair treatment of the Black race, the Dept of Homeland Security has policy or protocol to call these acts of terrorism. Given the same scenario with no racial motivation, the cases are usually attributed to mental illness first, and nation's attitude is different to the response.
The gunman, identified by authorities as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, shot churchgoers at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small town located in Wilson County. At least 20 others were injured in the attack and taken to local hospitals. Ten were in critical condition as of Monday.
Of the 26 people who died, 23 were found dead inside the church, while two people were found outside. One person died after being transferred to a local hospital, authorities said during a press conference Sunday.
Herring asked for the nation to pray for the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and suggested legislation reforms needed to address assault weapons and people with mental illness. It was later reported the US Air Force dropped the ball by not reporting the conviction of Kelley, when he served on active duty, for domestic violence and battery.