Filipinos based in San Antonio, Texas expressed outrage over the mass shooting that killed 26 people inside a church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday.
"It was so close to home and that’s scary. Whether or not you are situationally aware, I don’t believe that there is a safe place on earth because if somebody is out to harm you, they will find a way,” said San Antonio resident, Angelica Meredith.
The massacre happened inside the First Baptist Church. Among those killed was a 17-month-old girl. Some 20 others were also wounded in the attack.
Investigators said that prior to the massacre, shooter Devin Patrick Kelley sent threatening messages to his mother-in-law who is part of the church. But she was not there when the gunman sprayed the congregation with an assault rifle during prayer service.
“We extend our love and prayers to each family affected and church families as well as well as the community, and we are praying that everyone experiences God’s special love and care,” said another resident.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said the incident was not racially motivated. There was a domestic situation going on in the family, said its spokesman Freeman Martin.
Authorities said the shooter was chased by armed bystanders and found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after crashing his car.
According to the 2011-2015 US Census Bureau, Sutherland Springs has a population of close to 700 people. It is about 30 miles east of San Antonio where there are around 20,000 Filipinos.
A Filipino-American theater actress named Michelle Cabinian posted on Facebook that she lost her cousin Crystal and her three children during the church shooting.
Balitang America is still trying to reach her as of this posting.
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