Local officials, faith leaders respond to Texas church shooting

Local officials and faith leaders are responding to the Texas church shooting that left at least 26 people dead and dozens more injured. 

Congressman Robert Pittenger spoke to FOX 46 today about the tragedy. He says the shooter should have never been able to get a gun.

"We need to enforce the laws we have… the last couple shootings are because we have not had enforcement of the laws on the books…and I am fully committed to that,” he said in a statement. 

FOX 46 also spoke to a local rabbi who says a shooting in any house of worship is devastating to faith leaders everywhere. 

"It's one of pain and shock. To us as faith leaders we hope that a house of worship is a place of calm and a place of safety, a place where people can feel that they can come in and that no one will bother them. There is a certain reverence that we give to a place of worship as the house of God,” said Rabbi Yossi Groner of Lubavitch of North Carolina. 

He says it's the responsibility of faith leaders to think about security, he also says people have a civic responsibility to reach out to those who are in a dark place or need help. 

CMPD also spoke out today about the shooting, saying active shooter incidents have risen by 16 percent across the country and are becoming more deadly. 

Officers are encouraging all churches and businesses to have a plan everyone is familiar with. 

"Everyone has to prepare no matter how big your house of worship or how small you've got to have a plan, you've got to prepare, you've got to train your plan, your people have to know what your plan is, including your congregation. Because if only a handful of people know the plan then what about the rest of the congregation?" said Lieutenant Steve Huber. 

According to CMPD, 75 churches in the area currently work with off duty officers. CMPD also offers active shooter training.