Gunman kills self after shooting four in Texas church

The Associated Press

SASH, Texas- A shooting rampage outside a rural Texas church left five dead, including the suspected shooter who turned the gun on himself Monday after a nine-hour standoff with police, authorities said.

Witnesses told police that A.P. Crenshaw, who lived across the street from the Sash Assembly of God church, exchanged words in the church parking lot Sunday night with church member Wes Brown, who asked Crenshaw to leave.

Crenshaw went back to his house, but soon returned and shot Brown, 61, at close range, and then shot pastor James Armstrong, 42, the witnesses said. Deputies found both men dead in a grassy area next to the church parking lot, and it didn't appear they were shot inside the church, Fannin County Sheriff Kenneth Moore said.

Crenshaw then went back to his house, got in his truck and drove down the road. A truck pulling a horse trailer was stopped at a nearby intersection and Crenshaw began firing at the truck, witnesses told police.

Two women inside the truck tried to flee out the passenger side, but Crenshaw got out of his truck, went behind the horse trailer where the women were hiding and shot them, witnesses said.

"The witnesses said they could hear the women screaming," Moore said.

Police have identified one of the women as Holly Love Brown, 50. She is not related to Wes Brown, Moore said.

"We believe it was just random," Moore said of the women's slayings. "They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Police believe Crenshaw then circled back toward the church, fired at a home and cafe near the church without harming anyone, then went home.

Deputies arrived after receiving an emergency call for help from one of the church members, and the long standoff began. A 10-member SWAT team made two attempts to go into house, but Crenshaw fired at them so the officers retreated, Moore said.

Police finally made their way into the house about 6 a.m. (1100 GMT) after firing tear gas into the home. Crenshaw was found in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to head, Moore said. Police believe Crenshaw shot himself about an hour earlier.

A pistol, revolver and shotgun, along with ammunition, were found in the home, Moore said. The weapons appeared to match those used in the shootings, he said.

Moore said the motive for the shootings was under investigation.

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