Texas church mass shooting leads to calls for prayer -- and gun control

Some elected officials called for gun control.

— -- Prayers, heartbreak and calls for gun control were among the responses Sunday to America's latest mass shooting, a massacre in a rural Texas church that killed at least 26 people and injured about 20 others.

In the middle of church, 'we got calls from friends'

A neighboring church just two miles down the road from the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, where the mass shooting occurred Sunday morning, was in the middle of its service when congregants started getting calls about the bloodshed.

"We were in the middle of our church service when we got calls from friends," Pastor Paul Buford of River Oaks Church in Sutherland Springs told ABC News affiliate KSAT in San Antonio.

The River Oaks church members who work as emergency responders selflessly rushed out, Buford said.

As for the rest, "We immediately started praying."

"The victims are in the arms of their savior right now," Buford said. "And that’s what we stand on, and that’s the thing that’s going to keep us strong.

'Our hearts are with #Texas'

“Praying for the families of Sutherland Springs. A church is the most sacred of places. No words,” she tweeted.

Former President Barack Obama, who had to respond to a mass shooting more than 14 times during his administration, expressed his condolences via Twitter.

"We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we’ll stand with the survivors as they recover. May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst," Obama wrote in two tweets.

Support for prayers for victims, families, first responders

"Please say a prayer for First Baptist congregation, first responders & the community there," he tweeted.

'Enough is enough'

Some public officials called for action to try to stem gun violence.

"Now is the time for commonsense gun violence prevention steps. Congressional complicity must end," he wrote.

"I am praying that our lawmakers find the courage to face our nation’s gun violence problem," she said in a statement. "We can build a safer future for our children, but preventing future tragedies requires a president who acknowledges our gun violence problem and members of Congress who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to save lives."

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