On Sunday, yet another a brutal shooting shook the country and a small town in Texas. During the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs’s morning service, Devin Kelley opened fired and killed “4 percent of the tiny town's population.”
26 people dead and 20 more were wounded by Kelley. His former in-laws attended the church and currently the police believe his motive was domestic.
Among the killed were ten members of a single family: the Holcombe family. That included associate pastor Bryan Holcombe. Holcombe was about to deliver a sermon when Kelley began shooting into the church.
Kelley’s victims included people from ages 18 months to 71 years old. He seemed to target anyone who made noise, including infants.
Here are some ways you can help this community through their trials.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help with expenses incurred by the Holcombe family.
“Let's get together and make it easier for the Holcombe family to recover from the 10 family members they've lost at the Texas Church Shooting on November 5th,” says the GoFundMe page.
In addition to Bryan Holcombe, other family members who died in the shooting were Bryan's wife, Karla; the couple's 36-year-old son Marc Daniel; Marc Daniel's young daughter, Noah Holcombe; Holcombe family daughter-in-law Crystal Holcombe, who was pregnant; and three of Crystal's children, Emily, Megan and Greg.
“Keep them all in your prayers. If we could all gather up some financial support to send this family during this devastation, it would be a blessing. This is too much to bear on their own, let's be the Church! No amount of money will ever be enough, but it can take off a large burden,” continued the page.
The funds will be given to Sarah, who will distribute them as she sees fit among the rest of the family. The money will be used to pay for “hospital bills for surviving family members (including four children), funeral costs, lost wages, airplane tickets for out of town family, counseling services, etc.”
The GoFundMe account has already raised $470,000 out of its $750,000 goal.
Another GoFundMe account has been established for the family of Joann Ward. Ward and two of her children, Emily and Brooke, were killed in the shooting. She leaves behind a husband and two other children, one of whom was seriously wounded in the attack.
“We lost my niece Joann Ward and two of her little girls in the Sutherland Springs shooting. Their youngest boy is still in unknown medical condition as he was shot 4-5 times but made it to the hospital,” writes the GoFundMe page. “Joann was the most wonderful mom any child could wish for and her children were always laughing and just loving life. She leaves behind a husband and two other children that were in the church but survived the attack.”
The page says any contribution “will go directly to help with funeral costs, medical costs and other losses due to this horrific tragedy.” A fund will also be set up for the two surviving children, Ryland, 5, and Rihanna, 9.
There’s also a page for donations that go directly to the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. It will be used to cover medical, funeral, and related costs that the parish must bear.
“The church's website looks to be currently crashed/unstable, presumably due to overwhelming interest. That is why I decided to set up this page so people who have the mind to would be able to donate quickly and easily until the church can sort out their own funding page,” says the GoFundMe page.
There are also a variety of other GoFundMe pages. You can find them all here.
If you’re not able to donate, then please continue to pray for this town. This is a terrible tragedy, and we must not forget the power of prayer. It’s necessary that we turn to God for aid.
Here's a first-hand account of what happened inside the church on Sunday. Read the survivors own words to understand the tragedy.