SAN ANTONIO — After at least 26 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas Sunday, the local Catholic archbishop offered prayers and solidarity for the victims.
“We need prayers! The families affected in the shooting this morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs need prayers. The evil perpetrated on these who were gathered to worship God on the Lord’s Day — especially children and the elderly — makes no sense and will never be fully understood,” Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio said Nov. 5.
“Disbelief and shock are the overwhelming feelings; there are no adequate words. There can be no explanation or motive for such a scene of horror at a small country church for families gathered to praise Jesus Christ.”
Sutherland Springs is small town located about 35 miles southeast of San Antonio. A shooter entered the town's First Baptist Church late Sunday morning, during a service. He has reportedly been killed.
The suspect, who fled in a car, was shot at by a local citizen. The suspect was found dead in his car by police.
At least 20 people were injured by gunfire and taken to the hospital.
The San Antonio archbishop said, “These Baptist brethren are our family, friends and neighbors who live among us in the archdiocese. … We are committed to work in unity with all our brothers and sisters to build peace in our communities; to connect in a more direct and substantial way. The Catholic Church in Texas and across the United States is with you.”
Archbishop Garcia-Siller added that the San Antonio archdiocese's Catholic Charities “stands ready to assist and provide whatever services may be needed in this time of tragedy and will do whatever needs to be done.”
“Let’s help these brothers and sisters with prayers; they need us. Also, pray fervently for peace amidst all of the violence which seems to be overwhelming our society. We must be lights in the darkness. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May God have mercy!”
This story is developing.