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'Evil Walked Boldly Among Us': Parishioners Kill Gunman After He Fires In North Texas Church

whitesettlementchurch
West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement where a shooting took place Sunday morning. (SYEDA HASAN / KERA NEWS)

By Gabrielle Jones, KERA News

A gunman who opened fire Sunday morning at a suburban Fort Worth church was killed by two parishioners, authorities say. In addition to the gunman, one person died and another is in critical condition.

The shooter entered the West Freeway Church of Christ at 10:50 a.m. The church is at 1900 S. Las Vegas Trail in White Settlement, a suburb just west of Fort Worth. Authorities said two parishioners returned fire, killing the shooter.

At a press conference Sunday afternoon, authorities called the actions of the parishioners that took down the shooter heroic. "Evil walked boldy among us today," said Tarrant County Sheriff Bill E. Waybourn. "Good people rose up and stopped it before it got worse."

MedStar spokeswoman Macara Trusty told  another person died en route to a hospital and another person was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are partnering on the investigation. White Settlement Police Chief JP Bevering said the Texas Rangers and Texas DPS will take the lead. 

A witness told  that the shooter approached a server during communion with a shotgun and then opened fire. According to the witness, another church member shot the suspect.

“It was the most scariest thing," witness Isabel Arreola told the TV station. "You feel like your life is flashing before you. I was so worried about my little one.”

WFAA-TV  the shooting was captured on the livestream video of the church's Sunday service. 

A new  that took effect Sept. 1 allows Texans to carry guns in churches, synagogues and other places of worship unless otherwise banned by those places with proper signage.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued  asking Texans to join him and his wife in praying for those affected by the tragedy.

"Our hearts go out to the victims and families of those killed in the evil act of violence that occurred at the West Freeway Church of Christ,” Abbott 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.”

This is a developing story.

Updated 3:28 p.m.