At least 26 people have been killed in a mass shooting at Sutherland Springs, Texas. The shooting occurred at the First #Baptist Church when #The Gunman entered the church at around 11:30 local time, and opened fire on the congregation.

It is believed that some of the victims among the dead are small children. According to the BBC, after the shooting the gunman is believed to have fled the scene and after a brief car chase into nearby Guadalupe County, the assailant was found dead. Sutherland Springs is a small community which is roughly 30km Southeast of the Texan city of San Antonio.

Small town suffers tragic shootings

According to the Handbook of Texas, the small town only had a population of 362 people in 2000, making this tragedy even more poignant for the townspeople.

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This is the latest mass shooting to hit America in recent weeks. Just over one month ago, a man named Stephen Paddock shot dead 58 people from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

It is believed the President Donald Trump has been briefed on this latest tragedy and has spoken to the Texas Governor Greg Abbott. President Trump went on to tweet: "May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan."

No motive has been established as yet

The San Antonio branch of the FBI has sent agents to the scene, according to FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee. Agents from the San Antonio Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have also been deployed to the site of the tragedy.

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At a press conference in Stockdale, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said that this was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history and went on to praise the first responders who attended the scene. Sheriff Joe Tackitt of Wilson County said that at the moment they did not have any names of the victims involved in this tragedy.

It was also confirmed in the press conference that the suspect in the shooting was engaged by a local man who grabbed his rifle. The suspect dropped his rifle, an AR-15 type weapon and fled the scene. He was later found dead in a car, but it is not known if it was due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Official's confirmed that the man was wearing all black and a ballistic vest. Police have confirmed that he was a young white male but would not confirm his identity, despite rumours of the man's identity circulating on Social Media. Police and local officials would not give a motive. They are looking at all possible angles and they were hoping to "piece together the puzzle" before releasing any more information.

Another mass shooting in America, just over one month after the deadliest in U.S history will certainly spark more fierce debate in the States over the contentious issue of gun control.