The Texas Massacre

On Sunday, November 5, at least 26 people were killed and 20 others were injured at a church shooting in the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Though the amount of lives lost in this shooting would be heart wrenching under any circumstance, it is even more so when those that died during the shooting made up about 7 percent of Sutherland Springs’ entire population, which previously consisted of between 300 and 400 people.

“There is a gas station and a post office – that’s about all there really is,” said Joseph Silva, who lived about five miles away from the small town. He also referred to Sutherland Springs as a “one-blinking-light town.”

Out of the 26 killed, about 12 to 14 of them were children; one of them being the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy, who had been traveling out of state when the shooting happened. Pomeroy later reported that every one of his family’s close friends was among those killed at the shooting, and he just wanted the world to know that his daughter, Annabelle, was “one very beautiful special child.”

John Holcombe, son of associate pastor Bryan Holcombe, was also greatly affected by the massacre after losing eight of his loved ones, including his father. He also lost his pregnant wife, Crystal Holcombe, along with three of her children and their unborn child. John later took to Facebook to thank everyone for their prayers and ask for them to continue “as we work through all the issues.”

Now is where a normal writer would probably start to talk all about the shooter and the kind of life he lived before, what led him to this point, etc.; but I guess I’m not a normal writer. I’m just a 21-year-old college student who comes from a small, religious town and understands the affects that a town-wide tragedy can have on such a small population.

Sure, I could discuss his numerous domestic abuse charges, which SHOULD HAVE stopped him from ever purchasing firearms. I could go into depth about his charges of animal cruelty, mental health issues, threats against family and superior military officers, his time in the Air Force, and so on. But I don’t want to. I feel like that’s giving him recognition, and that’s the last thing this man this coward deserves.

The thing that keeps haunting me when I think, read, or hear about this massacre is what these people may have been going to pray for that Sunday. People often seem to pray for safety for their family members, for peace or happiness. Days after the Manhattan attack, maybe someone in there decided to go and pray for a light of hope in this dark world. If these were among any of the prayers being whispered in that church, then that man destroyed them. Therefore, I will not pass on his stories or the tales of the life he left behind, because I feel that we should only focus on the lives that he FORCED those 26 innocent people to leave behind.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy announced that he feels the best way for the town to start moving forward is to demolish the church, and put a prayer garden in its place. I will continue praying that what remains of this small town can successfully move past this calamitous hardship, and I hope those reading this will do so as well.