Texas shooting: First victim confirmed as Baptist church pastor Frank Pomeroy's 14-year-old daughter

Ben Kentish
At least 20 people are reported to have been killed in the shooting at First Baptist Church: Associated Press

The 14-year-old daughter of the pastor of First Baptist Church in Texas was killed in the mass shooting at the church on Sunday, reports suggest.

Sherri Pomeroy, wife of Pastor Frank Pomeroy, said her daughter Annabelle "and many friends" had been killed in the shooting, which left at least 20 people dead. .

Ms Pomeroy and her husband were out of town when a gunman entered the church in the small town of Sutherland Springs and opened fire. They are now believed to be on their way back to the church in Sutherland Springs, outside of San Antonio.

Sandy Ward told MSNBC that four of her grandchildren, the youngest being five-years-old were inside the church. She said that her seven-year-old granddaughter died.

Ms Ward said the children's father, her son, was "a wreck, of course, as you can imagine," Ward said. "I'm just in shock."

"I'm numb," she added. "My whole body's just numb."

The town's population is less than 700, so everyone in the small community is likely to be affected in some way.

The shooter was later identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley.

Police said the gunman crossed the street in his vehicle, got out and began firing using a Ruger AR assault-type rifle. He then moved to the right side of the church, continuing to fire and then into the building - still shooting bullets.

As he left, he was confronted by a resident who grabbed his rifle and then began to fire at him as he fled. The neighbour of the church then chased the shooter who left the scene in his vehicle before leaving the road at the border with Guadalupe County. He was found dead inside the vehicle, although authorities are not sure if the shooter died from a self-inflicted wound, or whether it was from the resident.

Kelley left 23 dead inside the church, two outside, while another died on the way to the hospital. The death toll could increase given the number of injured.

US President Donald Trump, who is on his first presidential trip to Asia, addressed the situation from Tokyo, calling it a "horrific shooting."

"Victims and their families were in their sacred place of worship. We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel," Mr. Trump said at a meeting in the Japanese capital Tokyo.

"In dark times such as these, Americans do we what do best and we pull together. We lock hands and we joins arms. Through the tears and through the sadness we stand strong."

Mr. Trump also pledged his full support to the state of Texas and the local communities affected by the attack.

"We offer our thanks to the first responders, to the FBI, all of the many people involved. I will continue to follow the developments closely. All of America is praying to God."