More than 100 people were killed in a church shooting in New Jersey on Sunday that was carried out by a man with no previous criminal history.
The suspect, identified as 36-year-old William Thomas Scott, allegedly entered the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and fired a round from a handgun as worshippers waited for mass at 10:45 a.m. local time (12:45 p.m., EDT).
The gunman opened fire on the congregation, who were praying before mass at the cathedral, killing at least nine people.
The wounded included a priest, a woman and two women.
Scott then drove himself to the parking lot of the nearby Cathedral of St. John the Divine in nearby New Rochelle and opened fire.
His car then drove off and he barricaded himself inside.
After the shooting, police searched the parking lots of both the Cathedral of the Holy Sepulchre and the Cathedral where the church was being held and found at least 40 shells, all of them shell casings, according to police and the Associated Press.
A total of 25 people were in custody, but they were not all the victims of the shooting.
Scott, a native of Oklahoma, has no criminal record and no history of mental illness, authorities said.
He had previously been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and driving without a license.
Scott is believed to have used the alias Michael Mascaro and was a member of the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ in the Rockland County community of Stony Brook, the state attorney general’s office said.
“This is a tragic and senseless act,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
“We are devastated by the senseless violence and we are praying for all those who were involved.”
More than 500 people were inside the church when the shooting began, police said.
More than 40 people were injured, including eight people who were pronounced dead at the scene, police added.
One of the victims, an 80-year old woman, died at a hospital.
She had not yet been identified.
Scott was arrested in June and charged with the murder of a former co-worker, and he had been previously charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault with intent to kill.
Authorities also said he was wanted on a domestic violence charge in North Carolina.