|The gunman, identified Thursday as Larry Gene Ashbrook of Fort Worth, shouted obscenities as he emptied three ammunition clips from a nine-millimeter, semi-automatic handgun at the gathered congregation.
Ashbrook, who authorities described as chronically unemployed and “very troubled,” had six full magazines of ammunition left when he took his own life in a back pew at the church.
|A sudden attack|
According to police, Ashbrook also rolled a pipe bomb down one of the church’s aisles. They said the bomb exploded, but caused little damage.
Nearly 150 teenagers were attending the service. Of the seven people killed, three teenagers and three adults died at the church, according to police. Another teen died later at a nearby hospital.
According to the Associated Press, seven others, ranging in age from 12 to 41, were injured in the shooting. Their conditions reportedly improved overnight.
Police searched Ashbrook’s house in a Fort Worth suburb. According to officials, Ashbrook’s house was in a state of disarray, with holes punched in the walls and furniture upended. Torn photographs and boxes of ammunition littered the floor.
“This has the appearance of being a very troubled man who for whatever reason in his own mind sought to quiet whatever demons were bothering him.” FBI agent Bob Garrity told reporters Thursday.
The attack took place at 7 pm CDT, in a middle-class neighborhood on Fort Worth’s southwestern edge.
“He walked … into the sanctuary … and was standing back kind of pacing and firing randomly at the people inside,” Acting Police Chief Ralph Mendoza told reporters.
According to police, Ashbrook had no previous criminal record, but say his diary writings reveal Ashbrook was “a very emotionally disturbed person.”
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