MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday that it has not received reports of any Filipinos hurt in a mass shooting that killed 26 people at a church in San Antonio, Texas.
The lone suspect, dressed in black tactical gear and a ballistic vest, drove up to the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs during Sunday morning services and started firing inside. He kept shooting once he entered, killing or wounding victims ranging in age from 5 to 72 years old, law enforcement officials told a news conference.
The gunman was later found dead, apparently of a gunshot wound, after he fled the scene.
None of the 7,400 Filipinos in San Antonio were reported to be among the dead and 20 wounded, the DFA said in a statement citing the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles.
"The Filipino people grieve with the families of the victims of this unfortunate incident," DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in the same statement.
The massacre came just weeks after a sniper killed 58 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
The shootings have stirred a national debate over whether easy access to firearms was contributing to the trend.
In rural areas like Sutherland Springs, gun ownership is a part of life and the state's Republican leaders for years have balked at pushes for gun control, arguing that more firearms among responsible owners makes the state safer.
To honor the victims, President Donald Trump ordered flags on all federal buildings to be flown at half staff.
"This act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of sacred worship," the president said in Tokyo during the first leg of a 12-day Asian trip. "Through the tears and through the sadness we stand strong, oh so strong."