REST IN PEACE
Babies, Grandmas, Preachers, and Veterans: These Are the Victims of the Texas Church Massacre
Twenty-six people were killed, nine of them children. Each one has a story to tell.
A gunman attacked First Baptist Church last Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas killing 26 people including eight children and a pregnant woman. The full list of names released by the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed the victims ranged from babies to grandparents, from military veterans to mothers. Twenty people were wounded in the worst mass-shooting in Texas history and the deadliest mass murder at a house of worship in American history.
The Holcombe Family: Bryan 50, Karla 58, Marc 36, Noah 1, Crystal 36, Emily 11, Megan 9, and Greg, 13
Three generations of the Holcombe family were killed including preacher Bryan Holcombe; his wife Karla; their son Marc and granddaughter Noah; and pregnant daughter-in-law Crystal, three of her children, Emily, Megan, Greg, and her unborn child.
Married for 25 years, Brian and Karla owned a canvas shop and are remembered for their faith and kindness. Crystal cherished motherhood, homeschooling her kids and sharing photos on Facebook of her family baking and celebrating holidays together.
“They were not pious Christians at all. Humble, simple, meager, and pure of heart; the beatitudes lived out,” friend Gil Waguespak told The Daily Beast.
A family friend set up a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Bryan’s surviving daughter, Sarah.
Annabelle Pomeroy, 14
Described as a “very beautiful and special child” by her father to ABC News, the youngest daughter of the church’s pastor attended seventh grade at a nearby middle school. Her father was not at services that day.
Dennis Johnson Sr., 77, and Sara Johnson, 68
The couple married for 44 years owned a Christmas tree farm and were described by friends as “beautiful people.” Dennis served in both the U.S. Navy and the National Guard. Sara loved her six children and volunteered at a church nursery for more than 30 years, according to a GoFundMe campaign.
Joann Ward, 30; daughters Brooke, 5, and Emily, 7
A “joyful, young, vibrant woman,” the mother of four heroically shielded her children from the attack, her friend Vonda Greek Smith shared on Facebook. The patriotic Texan posted American flags on her Facebook page alongside photos of herself playing with her children.
“You have left a wide open, gaping hole in all of our hearts and we’ll never EVER forget you, hon... see you soon, sweet girl!!” Smith wrote in a moving tribute.
Lula Woicinski White, 71
The devout Christian and grandmother posted inspiring messages of faith next to photos of fishing with her grandson. “I miss her badly already,” her sister Mary Mishler Clyburn told the New York Daily News. “We texted every day. We loved each other to the moon and back.”
Haley Krueger, 16
Remembered as a “beautiful vibrant” teenager, she “loved babies” and aspired to become a NICU nurse, according to a GoFundMe campaign to help the family. Caring and full of life, she couldn’t wait to graduate high school and follow her dreams, her mother Charlene Uhl told CNN. "A piece of me is gone. We'll never be the same," Uhl said.
Tara Elyse McNulty, 33
A hard worker and mother of two, her friends remember her big heart and sense of humor. “She was a sweet, kind and loving woman,” her boss where she tended bar wrote on a GoFundMe page set up in her memory. “Words cannot express the sadness that this tragedy has caused.”
Ricardo Rodriguez, 64, and Therese Rodriguez, 66
Married for over a decade, they attended church every weekend and loved to garden together, reported CNN. Richard enjoyed movies and cherished his family. “My favorite memories was waking up on a Saturday morning and watching Soul Train with him, and '80s movies," their daughter Regina told CNN.
Robert Scott Marshall, 56, and Karen Marshall, 57
The recently retired couple had just moved to Texas to be closer to family. Air Force veterans, they shared their love of flying by taking their grandchildren to child to an air show the day before the shooting. “Heaven holds two of the brightest lights I’ve been blessed to call family,” Karen’s sister Tammy Stone wrote on Facebook. “Love and miss you both.”
Peggy Lynn Warden, 56
Bravely stepping between her grandson and the bullets, she “saved Zachary’s life,” her sister-in-law wrote on a GoFundMe page. “Peggy was like a mother figure to us,” a family friend commented. “We will always remember the way she cared for us.”
Robert, 51 and Shani Corrigan, 51
The high school sweethearts began their lives together in Michigan before moving to Texas a few years ago, Buzzfeed reported. Robert played guitar during church services and Shani always took a moment to take care of her friends. “Bob and Shani Corrigan were beautiful people that loved their children and spent their lives helping other people,” a friend wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page.
Keith Allen Braden, 62
The Army veteran and father of three worked at a grocery store and regularly attended church with his family, his brother Bruce Braden told the Indianapolis Star. A recent cancer survivor, Keith cherished spending time with his children and granddaughter. “He was hoping to have a nice number of years left to live with his family,” Bruce said. “That was taken away in an instant.”