Suspect Involved in Fatal Texas Church Shooting Identified as Keith Thomas Kinnunen: Report

December 30, 2019 Updated: December 30, 2019
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The suspect involved in a fatal shooting at a Dallas-area church on Sunday was identified by officials as 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen, it was reported.

Law enforcement sources told local station KXAS Channel 5 that Kinnunen was the shooter. He had a criminal record in Tarrant County, including aggravated assault and theft of property charges.

Kinnunen was fatally shot by an armed member of the church’s security team in an incident that was captured on a church live stream. He stood up from the audience in the West Freeway Church of Christ at about 10:50 a.m. Sunday morning, went to a corner of the Church after saying something to someone there, and then pulled out a shotgun from his coat and opened fire, according to footage obtained by Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The footage showed Kinnunen apparently wearing a hooded jacket and holding a shotgun.

west freeway church shooting
In this still frame from livestreamed video provided by law enforcement, churchgoers take cover while a congregant armed with a handgun, top left, engages a man who opened fire, near top center just right of windows, during a service at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, on Dec. 29, 2019. (West Freeway Church of Christ/Courtesy of Law Enforcement via AP)

In 2016, he told police in Linden, New Jersey, that he was homeless and was traveling from Texas to take photos. He was arrested in September of that year when police found him with a shotgun, the paper reported.

The report stated that Kinnunen was also arrested in 2008 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Fort Worth. According to KXAS, he was charged with theft in 2013.

Family members identified the victims as Anton Wallace, a church deacon, and Richard White.

Epoch Times Photo
An FBI agent stands outside West Freeway Church of Christ as authorities continue to investigate a fatal shooting at the church in White Settlement, Texas, on Dec. 29, 2019. (David Kent/AP Photo)

Isabel Arreola was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that she sat close to the suspect and had never seen him before at the church service.

The man, she claimed, appeared to be wearing a fake beard or another type of disguise, and it made her feel uneasy.

Arreola said the man then stood up and produced a shotgun from his clothing and opened fire. He was quickly shot by congregants who were part of the volunteer church security team, she said.

“I was so surprised because I did not know that so many in the church were armed,” she said.

Before the shooting, he was “acting suspiciously” and drew the attention of security, minister Jack Cummings told The New York Times.