Keith Braden had just fought the hardest fight of his life. He’d fought cancer, and he’d beaten it.
But now Braden, a 62-year-old grandfather, was identified as one of 26 dead from Sunday’s church shooting. He went through chemo—got his life back—only to be brutally shot during Sunday morning service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Braden’s brother, Bruce Braden, spoke about his brother to the IndyStar. He related how his brother, an Army veteran who worked at a grocery store, had just beaten cancer.
"My brother Keith had just fought off cancer the last couple of years," Bruce said. "He had lost a lot of weight and hair from chemotherapy. I posted a picture on Facebook of him getting his hair and his weight back.”
Braden also shared that his brother, a married father of three grown children, thought after having beaten cancer, he’d have years left to spend with his family.
“He was hoping to have a nice number of years left to live with his family. That was taken away in an instant."
Braden added, speaking about his late brother’s character, “He was a good father…He was strict and fair, but loving. He was a good provider and a good husband."
Keith's wife, Debbie, was shot three times, and their 6-year-old granddaughter was shot in the hip and may lose the use of her leg. Both are recovering at a Texas hospital after undergoing multiple surgeries.
"Right now, it looks like they are both going to recover," said Bruce.
Bruce also shared that he and his family are currently in shock. He told the newspaper that he’d watched stories about mass shootings on the news, but he’d never experienced it like this before.
"When you're watching the national news, you're so remote from it," he said. "I can't do that for this one because it's my brother, my family. It's going to be their pictures on the national news."
Bruce said he’ll travel to Texas to be with Keith’s family for the funeral. However, he said the family will be foregoing the traditional 21-gun salute. He says the sounds of gunshots would be too traumatic for the family.
"They've had enough gunfire," he said.
Please pray for everyone involved in the Sutherland Springs shooting. They need our continued support in order to get through this terrible tragedy. In related news, it seems that the shooter planned another shooting for 2012.