In Sutherland Springs, Friends And Relatives Mourn Victims Of Church Shooting

Nov 10, 2017
Originally published on November 11, 2017 12:18 am
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's been five days since the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Preparations are underway for visitations, memorial services, burials. And people are mourning the 26 victims killed in the middle of a Sunday service.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We're going to take a couple of minutes now to remember a few of them. Scott Marshall was 56 years old. His sister, Holly Hannum, was stunned by his death.

HOLLY HANNUM: He was a great guy. He would've given his shirt off his back. He would've helped you do anything. It's severely hard. You watch it on TV, and you see everybody else go through this time and time again. And when it hits you and it hits home, it's just devastating. And you just can't even wrap your head around it.

MCEVERS: Holly Hannum's brother, Scott Marshall, and his wife, Karen, had recently moved from Pennsylvania. Karen was also killed in the shooting. Hannum says Sunday was their first time attending the First Baptist Church in Sutherlands Springs.

HANNUM: Knowing that they were Christians, they were in church together, worshipping God in the House of God. And they were with each other, and they went together. And they loved each other unconditionally.

SIEGEL: Some victims were remembered for their heroism during the attack, like Peggy Lynn Warden, who was 56-years-old. Her family told local news that she died protecting her grandson, who survived. Here's her brother, Jimmy Stevens.

JIMMY STEVENS: She died serving the Lord and helping someone who needed it, and that's what she lived for. So yeah, that's - that is a victory. And she will be missed every day of my life forever.

MCEVERS: Joann Ward's family says she died shielding her children. She was 30 years old. Lorenzo Flores worked at the food stand in a gas station near the church. He remembers watching Joann grow up with his kids. He says she was like family.

LORENZO FLORES: Yeah, Joann was like a daughter to us. She'd come in the kitchen and order her chorizo and egg every morning. We already knew what she wanted.

MCEVERS: Like other people in the town, he struggled to comprehend the loss.

FLORES: He took a piece of my life, you know? It's just - I'm just heartbroken. All I can do is pray.

SIEGEL: Two of Joann Ward's daughters, Emily Garcia, who was 7, and Brooke Ward, who was 5, were also killed in the shooting. They're survived by Joann's husband, Chris Ward, her daughter Rhianna Garcia and stepson Ryland Ward. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.