Dec. 29 (UPI) — Two people were slain and another is in critical condition after a shooting during a Sunday morning service at a Christian church in a northwest suburb of Fort Worth, Texas.
White Settlement police were dispatched at 9:57 a.m. to a shooting at the West Freeway Church, The Dallas Morning News reported. White Settlement, which received its name in the 1800s by Native Americans after non-Indigenous families began to settle in the area, is a town in Tarrant County with a population of 16,116, according to the 2010 census.
Police believe the gunman is among the three wounded but it’s unknown if he was killed or is injured, Fort Worth spokesman Mike Drivdahl said in a news conference.
MedStar spokeswoman Macara Trusty confirmed that one person died at the scene of the shooting and one person died en route to a hospital. The third person was listed in critical condition.
Fort Worth Fire Department sent out an “active threat” assignment about 11:30 a.m. to assist White Settlement police and fire. Also assisting are agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The gunman walked up to a server during communion with a shotgun and then opened fire, Isabel Arreola told KTVT-TV.
Another church member shot the suspect, according to the witness.
“It was the most scariest thing. You feel like your life is flashing before you. I was so worried about my little one,” Arreola said.
Sunday’s service was live streamed on YouTube but the video that showed the shooting has since been made private.
“Our hearts go out to the victims and families of those killed in the evil act of violence that occurred at the West Freeway Church of Christ,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life.”
A new Texas law allowing worshippers to carry guns in religious locations went in to effect in September.
Two years ago, Devin Kellen opened fire inside another Texas church, killing 26 people and wounding more than 20 others before he shot himself to death. It occurred at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, which is 280 miles south of Fort Worth.