SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas - As First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, faced a tragedy, members of a nearby church quickly jumped in to help.
Pastor Paul Buford from neighboring River Oaks Church described to ABC News what happened when his congregation initially heard of the shooting.
“We were in the middle of our church service down the road when we got phone calls from friends about this,” he said.
“We had some first responders in our church who immediately left and went down there. And then my church went to do what we do: We started praying for everybody and everything that was going on.”
Pastor of nearby church in Sutherland Springs says first responders at his church went to First Baptist as soon as they heard about shooting pic.twitter.com/cHnDsK0iPc— ABC News (@ABC) November 5, 2017
According to Buford, it was important that the “professional people [could] deal with what they needed to deal with there.”
Buford’s congregation demonstrated the spirit of people jumping into action during a crisis.
“We’re all friends and family here, because this is a very small, close-knit community.”
Twenty-six people were killed in the shooting. The suspected gunman was later identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley of New Braunfels, according to multiple news reports. Kelley died of a gunshot wound after fleeing the scene in a vehicle, according to the Washington Post.