As authorities confirm up to 14 of the 26 murdered in Sutherland Springs were kids, it’s been revealed multiple of those victims were from the same family — the youngest being 18 months old when she was killed!
This is SO devastating. A heavily pregnant woman, three of her children, AND her father-in-law — along with other of her in-laws — have been identified as “at least eight” of the 26 victims of the tragic mass shooting that occurred on Nov. 5 in a Texas church, according to the Washington Post. The woman, who was eight-months pregnant at the time of her death, has been identified as Crystal Holcombe. Karla, Marc, Noah, and Bryan Holcombe were identified as her in-laws who were also killed. Crystal’s husband, John Holcombe, survived the attack along with two of their children. However, their other three children: Emily, Megan, and Greg, were fatally shot along with their mother and extended family members.
Bryan was an associate pastor in the church, and he was reportedly walking up to the pulpit when Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, opened fire. His parents, Joe and Claryce Holcombe, said he was killed in the shooting along with his wife Karla. Noah was the couple’s infant daughter and reportedly the youngest victim of the tragedy at just 18 months old. Marc was the couple’s 26-year-old son. “This is unimaginable. My father was a good man, and he loved to preach. He had a good heart,” Scott Holcombe, Bryan’s son told the New York Times.
Another young victim, Emily Garza, 7, was attending Sunday church services with her family when her innocent, barely-begun life was taken from her, reports CBS News. Emily was also shot during Devin’s murderous tirade at First Baptist Church on Sunday, Nov. 5. Though she was rushed to a nearby hospital where she reportedly underwent surgery, the little girl had suffered far too much trauma and succumbed to her injuries. As of Sunday evening, at least 26 people had been killed, including little Emily, while up to 20 others were being reported injured. This tragedy is the deadliest mass shooting in Texas’s history, while the country’s mass shooting toll for 2017 is quickly climbing towards 300, reports Business Insider.
Emily’s mom, Joann Ward, was also killed in the massacre as well as her younger sister Brooke Ward, 5, family members told the Dallas Morning News. “[Emily] was just such a good little girl. She was so helpful. She would help. Anything you asked her to do, she was always happy and cheerful,” Emily’s devastated grandmother, Sandy Ward, told MSNBC after the news broke. Young Emily is the middle child in the above picture, according to Buzzfeed. Emily, Joann, and Brooke were seated in the back of the church when Devin unleashed terror on the parishioner, Sandy said.
The girls’ uncle, Michael Ward, 31, is still struggling to understand the horrific tragedy. “It’s unreal at first,” he said. “The church of all places.” Michael revealed that he carried his wounded 5-year-old nephew, Ryland Ward, out of the church once the bullets stopped. The poor boy had been shot four times, his uncle said. He’s currently being treated at the hospital and is fighting for his life. “I don’t think he’s going to make it,” Michael said.
14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy was also among the 26 killed in the devastating church attack, her father told ABC News. Annabelle’s father, Frank Pomeroy, is the pastor of the First Baptist Church, but he said he and his wife Sherri Pomeroy were out of town when the gunman opened fire on his congregation. Annabelle is his youngest daughter. [Annabelle] “was one very beautiful, special child,” Frank said.
The victims of this senseless act range from ages 5-72, and that includes those who died and those who were injured, according to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt.
This post will be updated as more victims are identified.
HollywoodLifers — Our thoughts remain with the innocent victims and their family, friends and loved ones during this very difficult time. Please leave your kind words and condolences in the comments below.