South Texas | KERA News

South Texas

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT News

On Sunday, a gunman began firing inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, killing young children, teenagers, parents, grandparents and families. 

Twenty-six people, including an unborn child, died and 20 others were wounded. On any given Sunday, about 50 people attend services at the church. 

Sutherland Springs, Texas, is a small town.

"They say the population is 400 and that's if you count every dog, cat and armadillo," 75-year-old L.G. Moore told The Associated Press. "It's more like 200 people." He runs an RV park a quarter mile from the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

The Air Force says a mistake allowed Devin Patrick Kelley to buy guns. On Sunday Kelley opened fire on a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The former airman had an assault-style rifle and two handguns — all purchased by him, according to federal officials — when he shot and killed 26 people.

How To Help Victims Of The Sutherland Springs Shooting

Nov 6, 2017
AP via NPR

Texans are helping the victims of the Sutherland Springs shooting through blood donations and also financial donations.

Updated at 10:55 p.m. ET

A "domestic situation" might lie behind the massacre that unfolded at a small South Texas church during Sunday services, authorities say. At a news conference Monday, law enforcement officials explained that the gunman — identified by police as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley — had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who is has attended the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Currently, officials say they do not believe the attack was racially or religiously motivated.

Residents of Sutherland Springs, which is about 40 miles east of San Antonio, gathered for a prayer vigil Sunday night.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET Monday

A few details are becoming known about the man who allegedly shot and killed at least 26 people and wounded 20 others Sunday at a rural community church in South Texas.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Freeman Martin says Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was found dead in a vehicle with two firearms a few miles from where the attack took place. Kelley had crashed his car in a neighboring county after being pursued by two civilians, one of whom had fired on him as Kelley attempted to escape the church.

Updated Monday at 5:10 a.m. ET

Federal authorities are investigating a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a small community southeast of San Antonio.

In a news conference Sunday night, an official from the Texas Department of Public Safety described the scene: Around 11:20 a.m., a man dressed in black tactical gear approached the church and began firing an assault rifle. He then entered the church and continued firing.

Twenty-six people are dead after a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles east of San Antonio.

Gov. Greg Abbott called it "the largest mass shooting in our state's history."

Shannan Wheeler was born and raised in Baytown, Texas, an industrial suburb east of Houston that is part of the so-called chemical coast.

Houses are tucked between chemical storage tanks. Parks back up to refinery smokestacks.

Oil Patch Schools Facing Budget Nightmare

Jul 19, 2016
Robin Jerstad / Texas Tribune

In December 2014, the week Pam Seipp became interim superintendent of Runge schools, the tiny South Texas district held a symbolic groundbreaking for schools and sports facilities to be paid for by a $22 million bond that local voters overwhelmingly approved just as oil prices began to slip.

Seipp’s main responsibility since then? “The bearer of bad news,” she says.

From Texas Standard:

John Carlos Frey, a reporter with the Texas Observer, joins the Texas Standard to talk about the wrong-doings he found while looking into an inquiry led by the Texas Rangers.

This week, NPR examines public corruption in South Texas. The FBI has launched a task force to clean up entrenched wrongdoing by public servants in the Rio Grande Valley. In the final part of this series, we examine vote-stealing and election fraud.

While the South Texas oil boom has meant a flood of cash and people to formerly impoverished communities, there have also been serious repercussions — namely, rampant air pollution. Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity explains the boom's environmental effects.

South Texas is in the midst of a massive oil boom. In just a few years, it has totally transformed once-sleepy communities along a crescent swoosh known as the Eagle Ford Shale formation and has brought unexpected prosperity — along with a host of new concerns.

Among the towns drastically changed by the drilling is Cotulla, southwest of San Antonio, about 70 miles up from the border with Mexico. The area is called brush country — flat, dry ranch land, scrubby with mesquite and parched by drought.