Texas church shooting: Youngest victim was 18 months old

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — An 18-month-old child is the youngest victim of the Texas church massacre, Texas officials confirmed in a press conference Monday.

Annabell Pomeroy (Sherri Newman Pomeroy Facebook)

Officials previously said the age range was 5 years old to 72 years old, but clarified Monday that those victims were the ones hospitalized. The victims killed were ages 18 months to 77 years old.

At least 26 people were killed when the gunman, identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, opened fire in the church Sunday morning. Most of the victims were found dead in the church. Two were found dead outside and one died at the hospital.

Authorities say Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the church.

Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said Monday that the mass shooting stemmed from a domestic situation and was not racially or religiously motivated.

Authorities say that evidence at the scene leads them to believe that Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he crashed his car. He had been chased by armed bystanders.

They say Kelley also used his cellphone to tell his father that he had been shot and didn’t think he would survive.

Here’s what we know about the victims so far:

The teenage daughter of the pastor:

The wife of the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs says the couple’s 14-year-old daughter was among those killed in a mass shooting at the church.

Sherri Pomeroy, wife of Pastor Frank Pomeroy, said in a text message that she lost her daughter “and many friends” in the Sunday shooting. The text came in response to an interview request sent by The Associated Press to a phone number linked in online records to Frank Pomeroy.

“We lost more than Belle yesterday, and the one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded by her church family that she loved fiercely, and vice versa,” Sherri Pomeroy said.

“Now most of our church family is gone. Our building is probably beyond repair. … As senseless as this tragedy was, our sweet Belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family.”

Sherri Pomeroy says both she and her husband were out of town and trying to get back to Sutherland Springs, outside of San Antonio.

A pregnant woman:

A congregant who wasn’t at a Texas church the day of a deadly shooting says his cousins attended and that family members have been told at least one was killed.

Thirty-four-year-old Nick Uhlig says he didn’t go to the Sutherland Springs church Sunday because he was out late Saturday. He says the cousin who was killed had three children and was pregnant with a fourth. He didn’t know specifics about how the other was doing.

Uhlig says the family had just met days earlier for his cousins’ grandfather’s funeral.

Church family:

The church’s visiting pastor was also among the dead, Sheriff Tackitt said.

So were eight members of one family, a relative and a community leader said. Those relatives span three generations and include a woman who was about five months pregnant and three of her children.

Many of the victims have not been publicly identified, pending notification of family members.