Police and government officials praised two parishioners at a Texas church who fired back at and killed a gunman who opened fire during a Sunday service, according to The Associated Press.
A since-removed stream of the service at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement shows two worshipers firing back at the shooter after he fires a shotgun.
“This team responded quickly and within six seconds, the shooting was over. Two of the parishioners who were volunteers of the security force drew their weapons and took out the killer immediately, saving untold number of lives,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said.
“Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life,” tweeted Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
"Heroism. Texan," Abbott added in a tweet from his personal account.
“We lost two great men today, but it could have been a lot worse,” senior minister Britt Farmer told the news service.
Officials have yet to identify either the victims or the gunman, with FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno saying the shooter had roots in the area but was “relatively transient” and had been arrested for unspecified offenses several times before.
One of the parishioners killed was a security guard responding to the shooter, church elder Mike Tinius told The New York Times.
“He was trying to do what he needed to do to protect the rest of us,” Tinius, who said he did not recognize the gunman, told the newspaper. “It’s extremely upsetting to see anyone committing violence.”