A gunman opened fire Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, an unincorporated community a half-hour southeast of San Antonio. Two commissioners - Paul Phiel and Larry Wiley - confirmed that number to MySanAntonio.com and another, Albert Gamez, told CNN he had been told that as well.
Reports also say as many as 30 were wounded.
The person who confronted the suspect at the church and another man were in a auto that chased him between 6-8 miles away to Guadalupe County.
U.S. President Donald Trump, now in Japan, tweeted to say that the FBI was investigating the shooting.
Witnesses described a shooter opening fire during the church service followed by a brief vehicle chase by police. The shooter has been reportedly killed as well.
Sherri Pomeroy, wife of Pastor Frank Pomeroy, said in a text message that she lost her daughter "and many friends" in the Sunday shooting.
Carrie Matula, who works at a nearby gas station near, told MSNBC she heard what sounded like semiautomatic gunfire coming from the modest, white clapboard church with a red door.
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"We are pulling together as a community", Buford said. "It's asinine. There's no reason for it". Eight of the wounded were transported to Brooke Army Medical Center and and seven others to area hospitals.
"Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act", Gov. Greg Abbott said on Twitter.
Keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers and grateful for our courageous first responders on the scene.
Another congregant who was not at church told AP that his cousin, who was pregnant with her fourth child, was killed in the massacre.
Sutherland Springs has a population of about 600 people and is located 34 miles east of San Antonio.
US President Donald Trump tweeted from Japan, where he is on an Asian trip, that he was monitoring the situation.
Inside there is a small raised platform on which members sang worship songs to guitar music and the pastor delivered a weekly sermon, according to videos posted on YouTube.