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'A very special, beautiful child': First victims of Texas church massacre named

The ages of those killed ranges from five to 72.

Enrique and Gabby Garcia watch investigators at the scene.
Enrique and Gabby Garcia watch investigators at the scene.
Image: Jay Janner AP/PA Images

AT LEAST 26 people have died following the mass shooting at a church in a small town in Texas.

The age of victims ranged from five to 72, authorities have said. Among the dead was 14-year-old Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, the daughter of the pastor of the Sutherland Springs church Frank Pomeroy.

Annabelle Renee Pomeroy “was one very beautiful, special child,” her father told ABC News.

Frank’s wife Sherri said in a text message that she lost her daughter “and many friends”. Sherri Pomeroy said both she and her husband were out of town and trying to get back to Sutherland Springs.

Nick Uhlig tells The Associated Press that his cousin Crystal Holcombe and her in-laws Karla and Bryan Holcombe died in Sunday’s attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Crystal Holcombe was eight months pregnant.

Uhlig says Bryan Holcombe did prison ministry, adding that he would go to the prison with a ukulele and sing for the inmates.

Other victims included a six-year-old boy named Rylan who was in surgery after being shot four times, his uncle told CBS News.

A two-year-old was also shot and wounded, The Dallas Morning News reported.

A spokeswoman for Connally Memorial Medical Center in nearby Floresville said the hospital received eight patients with gunshot wounds. Four were transferred to San Antonio.

A congregant who wasn’t at a Texas church when Devin Kelley opened fire, meanwhile, said his pregnant cousin and her in-laws were among those killed.

Authorities and parishioners have said that the layout of the church would have made it very difficult for anyone to escape once the shooting started.

Sixteen-year-old Hunter Green was at a vigil near the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs yesterday evening.

He described the church as having only small exits on the side and in the back. If a gunman came in the front door, Green said “they wouldn’t have had anywhere to go”.

With reporting from AFP, The Associated Press

Read: Devin Kelley: What we know about the 26-year-old former Air Force member who killed 26 people

Read: Local resident ‘engaged suspect in gun fire’ after worst mass shooting in Texas history

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Sean Murray

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