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Recap of the Worst Church Shootings in the U.S.


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The shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday, is being called the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history.

According to police, shooter Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people and wounded 20 others.

The Sutherland Springs massacre is at least the third U.S. church shooting in the past two months. 

Another deadly shooting took place Sunday, on the steps of a Fresno, California church, when a man shot and killed his estranged wife who was filing for divorce.

In September, a gunman opened fire as Sunday services were ending at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. 

One person was killed and seven were wounded, including the church's pastor and his wife. That gunman was identified as Emanuel K. Samson. His shooting spree was stopped when a church usher confronted him.

The New York Times highlighted some other notable previous fatal shootings in churches, including the notorious attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. back in 2015 that killed nine people.  

The shooter in that attack, Dylann Roof, was arrested and identified as a white supremacist. He later became the first person to be convicted of a federal hate crime and sentenced to the death penalty. 

In 2009, a gunman shot and killed an usher at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. The shooter was identified as Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist. The usher killed was Dr. George Tiller, one of the only doctors in the U.S. who performed late-term abortions. 

A gunman in Colorado, back in 2007, shot two people at the Youth With a Mission Center near Denver, and then killed five people 12 hours later at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The suspect, identified as Matthew Murray, was shot and killed by a volunteer security guard.

Attacks have happened at other places of worship within the U.S.

In 2014, white supremacist Frazier Miller, Jr. was sentenced to death for killing three people at two Jewish centers near Kansas City, Kansas. 

And in 2012, Army Veteran Michael Page killed six people and then himself at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


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About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT