Authorities from several agencies pursued and eventually apprehended him about 4:20 p.m. near the small town of Bedias, said Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Craig Cummings. The state trooper shot in the chase was in “serious but stable condition,” Cummings said.
Police said the suspect was an employee of the company, Kent Moore Cabinets, and that he was wielding a handgun. They did not release any other details about him or his motive.
The Bryan episode is the country’s second high-profile deadly shooting in 24 hours, after police say a former National Football League player killed five people and himself in South Carolina on Wednesday. And they come during a devastating month for gun violence: By one tally, 80 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in shootings of four or more across the United States since March 8, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
In Texas alone, Thursday’s was the eighth such shooting during that span.
It unfolded just hours after President Biden announced a series of executive actions to curb gun violence and pledged to push for changes to the country’s firearms laws. He called gun violence in the United States “an epidemic” and “an international embarrassment.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) criticized Biden’s moves as “a new liberal power grab to take away our guns.”
“It’s time to get legislation making TX a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State passed and to my desk for signing,” Abbott wrote on Twitter.
Later that day, he issued a statement saying he had been briefed on the Bryan shooting, that the state would assist in prosecuting the suspect and that he and his wife were “praying for the victims and their families and for the law enforcement officer injured while apprehending the suspect.”
Buske said the spate of fatal shootings is “indicative of a mental health issue in this country” that has “done nothing but get worse.” It is Bryan’s first large-scale shooting in recent memory, Buske said.
Those injured at the warehouse include four people with gunshot wounds who are in critical condition, a fifth person who was shot and is in noncritical condition, and one person who had an asthma attack, Buske said. The victims were all taken to a nearby hospital.
Several local, state and federal agencies — including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — are investigating. Buske described the scene as “complex” because of the number of workers and the sprawling size of the warehouse. Police were still working to interview witnesses Thursday evening, he said.
“In a spread-out scene, and this is a fairly spread-out scene, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to put it all together,” Buske said.
A worker in the cabinet plant told a local TV news reporter that she heard a “boom, boom, boom” noise while she was painting. Soon she was hiding.
“We’re very lucky and blessed to be talking to you right now in this moment,” she told KBTX-TV. “I’m still in shock because I think we live in a very peaceful community. Nothing happens ever.”