SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, (Sputnik) — Local residents of south Texas told Sputnik that mass shootings like the one that happened in a Sutherland Springs church on Sunday have nothing to do with the current gun laws and cannot be controlled.
At least 26 people were killed and 20 others injured in a church shooting in Sutherland Springs on Sunday, with the perpetrator Devin Kelley, whose motives remain unknown, having been found dead following the incident.
"It has nothing to do with the law. There are a lot of people who abide by the laws and they have guns. Are they shooting people? No. Some people are going to obey the laws and some people don't care about the laws. Something like that you're not going to be able to control. People are people," Michael Palacios from San Antonio, who is a life insurance agent, said.
According to him, it's not the guns that killed the people, but "the person with the gun."
"How about the guy who went after him, he had a gun, that's a positive thing," the man said.
Palacios believes that while mass shooting incidents cannot be prevented, they may be slowed down in numbers.
"It might start in elementary school where maybe a teacher can spot things like that and correct it, but once you have an adult that is acting that way, you can't change it. It’s like any type of addiction. Unless the person is willing to change themselves. In this case the guy, I think, had some issues, so if he is not willing to change and admit he is wrong, you are not going to be able to change it," he said.
Town Reacts to the Shooting
Palacios remembered that he felt devastated when he just learned about the shooting.
"It's just a small little town. For that to happen inside of a church is terrible. It's sad. You wouldn't think that was going to happen in a small town like that… I have five daughters, the thought of losing any of my daughters like this at a church, is heartbreaking," he said.
Another local resident, Elizabeth Hill, told Sputnik that her future daughter-in-law, who went to the church where the deadly shooting took place, decided at the last minute to attend a service in a different place on that day.
"My future daughter-in-law would go to that church, and her family decided last minute to go to a different church that her father preaches at. And that's why they weren't there," Hill, who works at a daycare center in Floresville, said.
Hill's future daughter-in-law was expecting a baby and was due next month.
"I'm glad they didn't go to that church that day but I feel bad for the ones that did," Hill, who lives just some 15 minutes away from the church, said.
Hill also came to Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville to donate blood.
"[I wanted] just to help whoever. Just to help whoever I could," she said.
According to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the shooting perpetrator bought three firearms that were found after the shooting. The firearms include a rifle that was left in the church and two handguns in the vehicle where police found Kelley dead. The Texas Department of Public Safety is still investigating the motive in this case, but noted Kelley had expressed anger towards his mother-in-law who is a member of the church.
Currently, all attempts to get in touch with Kelley's family have failed. US President Donald Trump has reportedly called the shooter a very "deranged" person, with a lot of problems. However, the basis for this claim has not been provided yet.