12 to 14 children among victims of deadly Texas church shooting

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas -- Investigators worked through the night, and are still on the scene of the deadly church shooting in Sutherland Springs this morning trying to piece together exactly what happened.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt spoke with ABC13 Monday morning and said 12 to 14 children were among the victims of the shooting. The ages of the deceased ranged from 18 months to 77 years, and the victims in the hospital ranged from 5 years to 72 years, authorities said.

PHOTOS: Mass shooting at Texas church

He also says it appears the gunman, Devin Kelley, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Investigators say Kelley, entered the church from the back and fired as he walked to the front.

"He just walked down the center aisle, turned around and my understanding was shooting on his way back out," said Tackitt, who said the gunman also carried a handgun but that he didn't know if it was fired. Tackitt described the scene as "terrible."

RELATED: More about the victims in the deadly Texas church shooting

Sheriff Tackitt says Kelley reloaded several times, and had 30 round magazines. He says dozens of rounds were fired.

Kelley reportedly dropped the assault rifle before leaving.

The sheriff has spoken with the neighbor who shot Kelley, but that man doesn't believe he's a hero. He does not want to speak publicly about what happened. Investigators say if he hadn't been there the shooter would have gotten away.

That neighbor was able to fire two to three rounds at Kelley as he left the church. Kelley returned fire with a handgun before getting in his vehicle and speeding from the scene.

RELATED: Pastor's 14-year-old daughter among dead in shooting

The two good Samaritans chased Kelley for six miles before he ran off the road and into a ditch.

Kelley was found dead in his vehicle.

Investigators say most of the people in the church had been shot or wounded. Many of the parents attempted to shield their children from the gunfire.

Investigators say the gunman's former in-laws attended the First Baptist Church at times but were not at the service yesterday morning. It's not clear if he targeted the church because of this connection.

Kelley's wife and child are safe in New Braunfels.

All of the bodies of the victims have been removed from the church and taken to the medical examiner's office.

At this time, one victim has still not been identified.

All of the shooting victims who are in the hospital are said to be in stable condition.

"It's unbelievable to see children, men and women, laying there. Defenseless people," said Sheriff Tackitt.

Click here for more stories on the Texas church shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.