The shooting unfolded around 9:57 a.m. at the West Freeway Church of Christ, which is located in the city of White Settlement, just outside Fort Worth.
“It’s all very tragic,” Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Mike Drivdahl told reporters.
White Settlement Police Chief J.P. Bevering told reporters Sunday afternoon the gunman entered the church during a live-streamed service and opened fire.
Two parishioners returned fire, striking the suspect who died at the scene.
The person shot by the gunman died at a nearby hospital, and a second parishioner had life-threatening injuries, Bevering said.
Separately, two people who suffered minor injuries were treated and released at the scene.
“As we stated, the suspect is deceased and the threat has stopped thanks to the heroic actions of those two parishioners at the church,” Bevering said.
The victims ranged in age from 30 to 60 years old, according to MedStar, the ambulance service provider to Fort Worth and other cities in North Texas.
A witness to the shooting told KTVT the gunman walked up to a server with a shotgun during communion and opened fire before parishioners inside the church took him down.
“It was the most scariest thing. You feel like your life is flashing before you,” Isabel Arreola told the television station. “I was so worried about my little one.”
The church was apparently live streaming the service when the shooting took place, Fox 4 reported.
The AFT is heading to the scene At West Freeway Church of Christ where at least three people have reportedly been shot, two dead (including the shooter). @DavidSFOX4 and i will have team coverage. The church was live streaming the service when the gunshots happened. @FOX4 pic.twitter.com/2t7Q7iwhyS
— Steven Dial (@StevenDialFox4) December 29, 2019
Images from the scene showed a massive emergency response.
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott called the shooting an “evil act of violence” at the church.
“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,” the governor said in a statement. “Cecilia and I ask all Texans to join us in praying for the White Settlement community and for all those affected by this horrible tragedy.”
David McClelland with Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News the shooter is “down” and suffered a gunshot wound, but it’s unclear where the bullet came from. At this time, authorities believe there was only one gunman.
MedStar told Fox 4 the shooter was among the dead.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted about the shooting, asking for prayers for “any victims and their families, this congregation, and the law enforcement officials at the scene.”
We are shocked and saddened to hear reports of a shooting at a church in White Settlement.
As reports come in, please pray for any victims and their families, this congregation, and the law enforcement officials at the scene. My office will assist in any way needed.
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) December 29, 2019
Agents from the Dallas Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said they were responding to the scene of the reported shooting.
Local and federal law enforcement agencies were continuing to investigate.
— ATF Dallas (@ATFDallas) December 29, 2019
White Settlement is located about eight miles west of Fort Worth.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. The Associated Press contributed to this Fox News report, which is used by permission.
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