Two Dead, One Injured in Church Shooting in Texas, Officials Say

December 29, 2019 Updated: December 29, 2019

At least two people were killed and one person is in critical condition following a shooting at a church in Texas on Dec. 29, officials said.

The shooting reportedly unfolded during a Sunday morning service at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, authorities said. One person died at the scene, and another person died en route to a hospital, MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokeswoman Macara Trusty told The Dallas Morning News.

Another person was taken to the hospital in critical condition, Trusty told the newspaper.

Epoch Times Photo
At least two people were killed and one person is in critical condition following a shooting at a church in Texas on Sunday, officials said. (Google Maps)

NBC News also reported two people died and one person was wounded. Other reports said that three people were injured, and some reports said that one person was dead and two were injured.

Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Mike Drivdahl told CNN that the shooter was believed to be among those who were shot. He added that an “active threat” assignment was sent out at around 11:30 a.m. local time, the Morning News reported.

Video footage and photos showed a large police presence outside the church; yellow tape was seen cordoning off the facility.

Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are responding to the shooting, NBC reported.

White Settlement is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. White Settlement got its name in the 19th century by Native Americans, after families of European descent began to settle in the area, the city’s website says.

Other details about the incident are unclear.

Crime Drops in US in 2018

Not since 1999 has the United States seen the number of murders drop so precipitously as in 2018, when 1,080 fewer people died of homicide or non-negligent manslaughter than the year earlier, according to national crime statistics released by the FBI on Sept. 30.

The murder rate dropped to 5 per 100,000 residents, a decline of 6.8 percent from 2017.

Overall, the violent crime rate dropped by 3.9 percent, most notably the robbery rate, which slid by 12.6 percent in 2018. The property crime rate, meanwhile, decreased by 6.9 percent. The burglary rate, in particular, declined by 12.5 percent.

Of the seven crimes captured in the data—homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, and car theft—only rape was up in 2018, by 2.1 percent.

The decline in crimes accelerated from 2017, when the violent crime rate dropped by about 1 percent and the rate of property crime fell by 3.6 percent.

The past two years saw a decrease from the major crime spike in the two years prior. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate had increased by more than 20 percent. The country hadn’t seen a two-year increase so steep for decades.

Petr Svab contributed to this report.