A man who lives one block from the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church said he heard more than a dozen shots and one them came dangerously close to his son.

Officials confirmed Sunday afternoon 26 people died in the mass shooting at the church in the small town near La Vernia.

The gunman has been identified as Devin Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, who died after a chase involving a resident.

Chris Speer lives just a block from the church and heard the shooting unfold.

“You can see it right from the driveway, it’s just a straight shot,” Speer said. “I was sitting on my porch with my son, and you hear the shots, I mean you know, you can’t mistake a semi-automatic with a hunting rifle.”

Sutherland Springs resident, Gloria Ximenez, spent many Sundays attending church at the First Baptist Church.
“I never thought something like this would happen and look where it happened, in my own hometown,” Ximenez said. “Heavy, hurting…for their victims, for the families. There’s just no words to describe because everybody knows everybody.”

Ximenez says she believes that as horrific as the shooting was, her community will heal.
“It’s going to take time, but with Gods help and prayers…I don’t know what other answer there is.”