Many Democratic U.S. senators called for stronger gun control hours after a shooter opened fire during a Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing at least 27 people and wounding several others.
The alleged gunman, identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, entered the church around 11:30 a.m. local time dressed in tactical gear and a mask, and unloaded “clip after clip” of rounds from a semi-automatic weapon, according to police and witnesses.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) November 5, 2017
Can you sleep tonight, colleagues, when the price of gun lobby goodwill is this – blood soaked church and school floors, city streets?
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 5, 2017
Our hearts are broken again. So much grief endured by so many in Sutherland Springs. Another horrific mass murder by a madman with a gun.
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) November 5, 2017
Heartbroken for the victims in Texas and their families. We are not powerless to reduce gun violence in our nation. Congress must act.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 6, 2017
How many times can our hearts break for communities in America ripped apart by gun violence? We can never allow this to be the new normal. https://t.co/E20xAC72JE
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) November 5, 2017
Many senators pointed out that Democrats have called for gun control for years, but Republicans have blocked tougher restrictions on firearms.
Thoughts &prayers won’t prevent this but changes in our laws will. Dems have put forward concrete legislation. What are Republicans doing?
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) November 5, 2017
Encouraging my colleagues in Congress to stop & think about ways we can work together to save innocent lives. We must try.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) November 5, 2017
This shooting comes 1 month after the deadliest mass shooting, and we’re still trying to get support for basic steps to reduce gun violence.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) November 5, 2017
Kelley was found dead in his car after he fled the church. Police say a local citizen had shot at Kelley while he was still inside the church, and after the suspect fled. “At this time we don’t know if it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by the local resident,” Police Maj. Freeman Martin said. “We know he’s deceased in the vehicle.”