About half the victims of Texas church shooting were children

Law enforcement officials works at the scene of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (NBC) — About half of the victims killed in the worst mass shooting inside a house of worship in American history were children, including one who was only a year old, Texas officials said Monday.

Twenty-six people were shot dead during the Sunday massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small, tight-knit town about 30 miles outside of San Antonio. Of them, 12 to 14 were kids, according to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt.

The wife of the church pastor said their 14-year-old daughter was among them.

The rampage was the largest mass shooting in Texas state history. In addition to the dead, 20 people were injured, said Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Related: Man describes moments surrounding church shooting

Earlier, authorities had said victims were 5 to 72 years old; on Monday, Martin clarified that those were the ages of injured victims who were hospitalized, and that of the dead, the youngest was just 18 months, and the oldest was 77 years old.

Freeman said 23 people died inside the church, two outside the church, and one at the hospital. Of the injured, six are in stable condition or have been released, four are in serious condition, and 10 are in critical condition.

The identities of the victims have not yet been confirmed. According to The Washington Post, Joe and Claryce Holcombe lost eight members of their family, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


WATCH: Authorities give an update on a Texas church shooting that left more than two dozen dead. App users can watch the update here.


Sherri Pomeroy, the wife of First Baptist Church pastor Frank Pomeroy, told NBC News that she and her husband were both out of town at the time of the shooting, but that their daughter, Annabelle, was killed.

“My husband and I were ironically out of town in two different states. We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends. Neither of us have made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation,” she said en route home from the Charlotte, North Carolina, airport.

The suspect, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of neighboring Comal County, began firing outside the church at around 11:20 a.m. local time with an assault-type rifle, and then continued shooting inside, officials said. He died of a gunshot wound after a local resident confronted him and pursued him in his car, they added. It wasn’t clear whether he died of a self-inflicted shot or of a gunshot fired by the resident, Johnnie Langendorff.

Tackitt said on Megyn Kelly TODAY that the suspect’s in-laws attended the church, although they weren’t there at the time. The in-laws were speaking with investigators, Tackitt said.

Related: What we know about the alleged Sutherland Springs church shooter

Martin said the shooting was not racially or religious motivated.

“The suspect’s mother-in-law attended this church. She had received threatening texts from him. We can’t go into details,” he said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told TODAY on Monday morning that there was “information surfacing” about why that particular location was chosen.

“That information may be coming out today or tomorrow, in the coming days, but I don’t think this was a random act of shooting,” Abbott said.

Mariana Atencio reported from Sutherland Springs, Elizabeth Chuck and Rima Abdelkader reported from New York.