A gunman opened fire in a Texas church during services on Sunday and was then shot by “heroic” parishioners who prevented a bloodbath, law enforcement officials said.
Two people, including the shooter, were killed and a third person was in critical condition.
“Evil walked boldly among us,” Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn said at an afternoon press conference. “Good people raised up and stopped it before it got worse.” Jeff Williams, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the attendees who took action “saved countless lives.”
The violence unfurled during communion at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth.
Video on the church’s YouTube channel, which has since been removed, showed a man clad in black take out what appeared to be a rifle and open fire. Then someone from the church shot at the assailant, WFAA reported.
Worshippers dove for cover before a church leader attempted to clear the sanctuary.
“Everything is under control. Our security team did everything they needed to do,” they were heard saying on the video.
Isabel Arreola told CBS11 News that she was terrified.
“It was the most scariest thing. You feel like your life is flashing before you. I was so worried about my little one,” she said.
The motive was unclear. “We will get to the bottom of it,” Waybourn said.