Among the fatal victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at a Texas church was the pastor’s teenage daughter, Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, according to multiple news reports.
The 14-year-old’s mother, Sherri Pomeroy, confirmed her death to CBS News, saying that she and her husband, church pastor Frank Pomeroy, were traveling at the time of the rampage.
Sherri also confirmed Annabelle’s passing to CNN.
Speaking to ABC News, Frank described Annabelle as “one very beautiful, special child” and said he had been returning from Oklahoma when the shooting broke out. (PEOPLE has not been able to reach the family for comment.)
“My husband and I were ironically out of town in two different states,” Sherri told CBS. “We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends. … Neither of us have made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation.”
Pomeroy noted that she was in North Carolina and “trying to get home as soon as I can.”
The girl was one of at least 26 people killed by a gunman who opened fire from outside the First Baptist Church around 11:30 a.m. local time during a service, authorities said in a press conference. The gunman then entered the church and continued to shoot.
The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72, Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety said at the press conference.
The shooter, who has only been publicly identified by authorities as a young, white male in his twenties, was killed after a brief chase into neighboring Guadalupe County, Texas, Martin said. Martin said it is unclear if the shooter was killed by other gunfire or by suicide.
The shooter used an assault rifle, Martin said in the press conference. He was wearing all-black tactical gear and a ballistic vest, said Martin. Multiple weapons were found in the gunman’s vehicle.
When the suspect exited the church, a local resident engaged him in gunfire, Martin said. The suspect dropped his weapon and fled, with the local resident in pursuit.
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Ernest Hajek, a Wilson County commissioner, told PEOPLE that he knew several members of the congregation.
“This is just a small, rural farming community,” he said. “It isn’t really a town. A small church with 40 or 50 congregants at each service. It doesn’t make any sense. We are trying to find out the motive and it could take some time.”
Hajek said that he visited the crime scene and saw several bullet holes in the windows and walls of the church.
Noting that he was formerly an investigator for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in San Antonio, Texas, Hajek told PEOPLE, “This is the worst mass shooting I have seen.”
“I have seen other mass shootings,” he said, “but nothing like this.”