Latest: Children among more than 20 people killed in Texas church shooting

Update 11pm: A man opened fire inside a church in a small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than 20 people, including children, and wounding at least 20 others.

Authorities said the man walked into the First Baptist Church, a white, wood-framed building, during the morning service and began shooting at the 50-strong congregation.

Authorities have not confirmed the number of fatalities, but a Wilson County commissioner, Albert Gamez, said he was told by emergency officials that more than 20 people were slain and more than 20 others were wounded. Other reports put the number of dead at 27.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told the Wilson County News that the gunman was then "taken down" after fleeing the scene of the massacre in Sutherland Springs.

The gunman escaped in a vehicle, another official said, and was killed either by a self-inflicted wound or during a confrontation with police who pursued him into a neighbouring county.

Video on KSAT television showed emergency services taking a stretcher from the church to a waiting AirLife helicopter. Some victims were taken by medical helicopter to the Brooke Army Medical Centre, said KSAT TV station.

Megan Posey, a spokeswoman for Connally Memorial Medical Centre, which is in Floresville and about 10 miles from the church, said "multiple" victims were being treated for gunshot wounds.

A woman who lives about 10 minutes away from Sutherland Springs in Floresville and was monitoring the chaos on a police scanner and in Facebook community groups, said that everyone knows everyone in the sparsely populated county.

"This is horrific for our tiny little tight-knit town," said Alena Berlanga. "Everybody's going to be affected and everybody knows someone who's affected," she said.

Update 8.11pm: A gunman has killed more than 20 people and injured about 30 in a shooting rampage at a Baptist church in Texas.

A two-year-old child is reported to be among the dead.

Emergency personnel respond to a fatal shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (KSAT via AP)

US President Donald Trump said he was monitoring the situation from his visit to Japan.

Local law enforcement and FBI are at the scene at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told ABC that his 14-year-old daughter is among the dead. She "was one very beautiful, special child," he said.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said the man walked into the church and opened fire on the congregation. The gunman was later "taken down" and killed, he said.

Emergency services rushed to the church and local media showed helicopters airlifting victims to nearby hospitals.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the attack an "evil act".

The Republican governor has also promised "more details" from the state's Department of Public Safety shortly.

Earlier: Local media are reporting several people have been shot dead at a church in southern Texas.

Police have told local media outlet that the gunman is now dead. Police said there were "multiple victims", but did not say how many.

A witness says up to about 20 shots were fired at the church in Sutherland Springs, about 40 miles east of San Antonio.

A witness reported seeing a man walk into First Baptist Church and began shooting around 11.30am.

More in this Section

CIA officer who inspired Oscar-winning film Argo dies, aged 78

Police officers injured in clashes over Greece-Macedonia name deal

Colombian protesters flood streets after car bombing

Teenage girl tells of helping Skripals after Novichok poisoning


The more you spend on entertaining a small child, the less likely they are to enjoy it

Untying the Knot: How to divorce with love

Appliance of science: Why does my voice sound so different when recorded?

Let’s hear it for the girls: New book celebrate Cork's Scoil Mhuire

More From The Irish Examiner