Texas gunman kills 26 in church shooting; Trump says it 'isn't a guns situation'

Texas gunman kills 26 in church shooting; Trump says it 'isn't a guns situation'

The US president said mental health issues were at the core of the tragedy

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The dead ranged in age from 5 to 72
Photo: AP

A gunman attacked a church in the US state of Texas on Sunday (US time), killing 26 people and wounding at least 16 others in what the governor said is the deadliest mass shooting in state history.

President Donald Trump says the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church, in the town of Sutherland Springs, “isn’t a guns situation”, but is a “mental health problem at the highest level”.

Devin Kelley, the man authorities have identified as the gunman, was discharged from the Air Force several years ago for allegedly assaulting his spouse and a child, according to an Air Force spokeswoman.

While no officials have publicly questioned Kelley’s mental health, Trump said that “is your problem here”. He offered no details.

“This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time,” Trump said when asked about the shooting as he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a joint news conference in Tokyo during Trump’s first official visit to Asia.

“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation,” the president said.


 

Why labelling such shooters "lone wolves" makes it easier to avoid the real issues


 

After the shooting, the suspect, described as a white man in his 20s, was fired on by a local resident. He fled in his vehicle and was later found dead in a neighbouring county.
 
It was not immediately clear if the suspect killed himself or he was hit by gunfire by the resident, authorities said.
 

Trump first tweeted that he was monitoring the situation from Japan. He later described the shooting as an “act of evil” during remarks to a gathering of American and Japanese business executives. Abe also offered condolences.

Trump said “fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction otherwise it [wouldn’t] have been as bad as it was. It would have been much worse.”

“But this is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.”

The shooting comes just over a month after a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of a hotel-casino, killing 58 people and wounding more than 500. Trump visited Las Vegas soon after to meet with families of victims and first responders.

In the days after the Las Vegas shooting, Trump and his aides declined to discuss possible changes to gun laws, saying it was too soon after the tragedy to discuss policy. Trump on Monday ignored shouted questions about whether the US needs to consider tightening gun laws.

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1 comment

Taine Elson

17:53pm

Have to say this in the name of unbiased reporting. 1. The reason as to why this shooting and the one in Las Vegas earlier were not classified as Terrorist attacks was because a Terrorist attack by definition has to have a political motive behind it, as of yet, no political motive has been found. 2. The reason as to why this isn't a gun control issue is that the gunman by all accounts would not have been able to secure the firearm if the Air Force had relayed his records to the FBI Database as they are meant to, so, if what the law of the US says should happen had happened, he wouldn't have been able to secure that fire arm. Finally, 3. You conveniently forget to mention that another armed and lawful citizen, armed with their own rifle and an instructor at the NRA helped take down the suspect by shooting them as they left the church, causing them (suspect) to drop their rifle, and flee rather than seek more havoc. If you want to get the youth interested and discussing politics, more credit to you, so long as its unbiased.