3 killed as gunman attacks Missouri church | world | Hindustan Times
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3 killed as gunman attacks Missouri church

world Updated: Aug 13, 2007 05:23 IST

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A gunman opened fire in a Missouri church on Sunday, killing three people and wounding several others, a city spokeswoman said.

About 25 to 50 people were briefly held hostage after the Spanish-language service at the First Congregational Church until the gunman surrendered, Neosho spokeswoman Desiree Bridges said. About four or five people were wounded, Police Chief Dave McCracken said, but several others who were injured fled the scene. Police were not releasing any information about the shooter. Bridges said he was related to someone in the church, but declined to elaborate.

No charges had been filed on Sunday, McCracken said. The gunman had two small-caliber handguns and one 9 mm semiautomatic machine pistol with a large magazine, McCracken said. The shooting followed the 1 p.m. service, which is held in Spanish. About 50 people, ranging in age from children to the elderly, were in the church at the time.

The gunman surrendered to authorities after about 10 minutes of negotiation.

"At the time that the rescue attempt was successful we had approximately 20 people in the sanctuary still," McCracken said. He said no one was injured during the arrest. McCracken said he could not confirm whether the gunman was a member of the church. But he said an incident involving the suspect and a family that attended the church on Saturday night fueled the shooting Sunday.

The identities of the deceased were being withheld, McCracken said.