Many of them had known each other for years. That’s no surprise in a small town like Sutherland Springs, Texas, where lives intersect daily on the street, at the school and in the church.
Twenty-six of those lives ended Sunday when Devin Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs with an assault rifle. Here’s what we know so far about the people who died.
She was grandmother to Devin Kelley’s wife.
White volunteered frequently at the church, according to friends and her Facebook profile.
“I have no doubt where she is right now. She is in heaven laying her crowns and jewels at the feet of Jesus and celebrating. I love and will miss you Aunt Lula Woicinski White,” niece Amy Backus wrote on Facebook.
Another family member, Charity Sales, posted to Facebook, “Aunt Lula Woicinski White will be missed greatly, I don’t think there was ever a time I saw her she didn’t have a smile on her face and a crazy fun tactic up her sleeve.”
She was the 14-year-old daughter of Sherri and Frank Pomeroy, the church’s regular pastor who was traveling when the shooting occurred.
“We lost more than Belle yesterday, and the one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded by her church family that she loved fiercely, and vice versa,” Sherri Pomeroy said.
“We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together, and we worshipped together. Now most of our church family is gone, our building is probably beyond repair and the few of us that are left behind lost tragically yesterday.
“As senseless as this tragedy was, our sweet Belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family.”
The 16-year-old had helped with breakfast that morning at the church, said her mother, Charlene Marie Uhl.
Haley loved babies and looked forward to a career as a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit, she said. She loved attending the Baptist church in Sutherland Springs.
“She was a vibrant 16-year-old that loved life,” her mother said.
Eight members of the Holcombe family died in the shooting.
Bryan Holcombe was serving as guest pastor on Sunday. He lived on a farm in nearby Floresville with his wife, Karla Holcombe.
The others in the family who died were Danny Holcombe, Bryan and Karla Holcombe’s son; Noah Holcombe, Danny’s 17-month-old daughter; Crystal Holcombe, the pregnant wife of Bryan and Karla’s other son, John, who survived the shooting; and three of Crystal Holcombe’s five children, to whom John was the stepfather Their names and ages were not immediately available.
Two of her children survived and are in the hospital with John Holcombe.
Retired Air Force couple checking out church
An Air Force couple who retired to La Vernia, Texas, was trying out churches when they were slain in Sunday’s shooting in Sutherland Springs.
Robert Marshall tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his son Scott and daughter-in-law Karen were first-time visitors to the First Baptist Church, the scene of a rampage that left dead 26 congregants including children.
Karen Marshall had recently returned to Texas after finishing an assignment at Maryland’s Andrews Air Force Base.
Scott Marshall was retired from the Air Force and had been working as a civilian contractor and mechanic at Lackland Air Force Base, about 35 miles west of La Vernia.
The couple met while they were in the service together more than 30 years ago.