What We Know About The Victims Of The South Texas Church Shooting | KUOW News and Information

What We Know About The Victims Of The South Texas Church Shooting

10 hours ago
Originally published on November 8, 2017 3:53 pm

Twenty-six people, including an unborn child, were killed Sunday at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in what is being called the largest mass shooting in Texas history.

The victims included children, parents and grandparents. Some of the victims were from the same families and sat together in the church.

Sutherland Springs, 35 miles southeast of San Antonio, is a small town, so most residents have a personal connection to the tragedy.

Here's what we know about the victims.  

An aspiring nurse

Haley Krueger, 16, wanted to be an infant ICU nurse. She loved babies because, as her aunt Pauline Marrison told Houston Public Media's Davis Land, Haley was shy and felt a connection with children.

She loved her English class, mostly because of her teacher, Marrison said. Haley was "a hip-hop girl" but also loved country music. She wore Converse shoes, which she loved. Haley had not yet begun to drive.

Haley, her mother Charlene Uhl, and her three brothers all moved near Sutherland Springs to find a calmer, less stressful life. Haley's brother is autistic, and it was easier for him in the small town. The family stuck close together; Haley's father died from cancer in 2015.

The family tried a couple different churches before settling on First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Even though she was shy, Haley fit in there. Pastor Frank Pomeroy would preach in a way that was "very to-date," which resonated with Haley, Marrison said.

A mother shielding her kids

The Ward family lost three members Sunday, but one is still holding on. 

Joann Ward, 30, and her two daughters, Brooke, 5, and Emily, 7, died. Ward's 5-year-old son Ryland was seriously wounded.

Grandmother Sandy Ward told Texas Public Radio that Ryland was in surgery for more than eight hours Monday and could be in the hospital for six months or longer.

He'll be without his sister, Brooke. Ward described her as "a sweet girl."

"When they sing at church, she would get out in the aisle and do her ballet. Because she wanted to be a ballerina. ... She was pretty good for a 5-year-old with no training."

Emily, who died at the hospital, was helpful and sweet, and Ward said she "never saw that kid mad."

Their mother "threw her body over the little ones," Ward said.

For Jim Crosley, a family friend, it seems almost unreal.

“I’m still trying to get it through my head why somebody would come down there and destroy somebody’s lives like they did,” he told Texas Public Radio.

He said Joann, 30, was too young for this. Lorenzo Flores knew her for more than 27 years.

"Joann lived in my neighborhood when she was little a little girl. She went to school with my boys, so I saw her grow up," he said. "She was like a daughter to me, you know. She'd go to our house like she was our own.”

Flores and his girlfriend, Terri, run a taco shop called Teresa’s Kitchen inside a convenience store near First Baptist Church. Flores said he saw Joann all the time and that losing her is like losing a daughter.

“It’s like you took a piece of my life because I’ve known her so long. She was a part of my family,” he said.

The pastor’s daughter

Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were both out of town when the attack took place. Their daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy, was among the victims.

"We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends," Sherri Pomeroy wrote in a text message to The Associated Press. "Neither of us has made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as i can."

Speaking at a news conference Monday, Sherri Pomeroy said it gives her "a sliver of encouragement" that their daughter was surrounded by her church family when she died in the shooting. 

"Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family."

She added: "Now most of our church family is gone."

Pomeroy said her daughter would have struggled to deal with losing so many people.  

Several generations of one family

The Holcombes suffered deaths across three generations. Eight members of the extended family died, including Crystal Holcombe, who was eight months pregnant. 

Bryan Holcombe, associate pastor for the church, his wife, Karla, and their 36-year-old son, Marc Daniel, were killed, The Washington Post reported. Marc Daniel Holcombe's infant daughter, Noah, also died.

Bryan and Karla’s other son, John Holcombe, survived, but his pregnant wife, Crystal, did not.

Crystal had five children. Three of them — Emily, Megan and Greg — died, the Post reported. The two others survived.

Nick Uhlig, 34, who wasn't at Sunday's service, talked with the Houston Chronicle about his cousin, Crystal.

"She doesn't even drink, smoke or nothing," he said. "She just takes care of kids; she raises goats and makes homemade cheese. That kind of thing, you know? They don't go out dancing or anything like that. They're real old-fashioned, down-to-earth.”

Uhlig said Bryan Holcombe did prison ministry, adding that he would go to the prison with a ukulele and sing for the inmates, The Associated Press reported.

An Air Force couple

Robert Marshall told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his son Scott and daughter-in-law Karen were first-time visitors to First Baptist Church.

Karen Marshall had recently returned to Texas after finishing an assignment at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Scott Marshall was retired from the Air Force and had been working as a civilian contractor and mechanic at Lackland Air Force Base, about 35 miles west of La Vernia.

The couple met while they were in the service together more than 30 years ago.

The grandmother who became a hero

Peggy Lynn Warden, 56, stepped in front of her 18-year-old grandson, shielding him from bullets and saving his life, according to the family.

She had just returned to work at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church as a volunteer teacher, after spending 14 months caring for her husband, Christopher, who died of lung cancer in July. They had been married for 39 years.

"My sister spent her whole life working at the church," Warden's brother, Jimmy Stevens, told News 4 San Antonio. "She died serving the Lord and helping someone who needed it, and that's what she lived for. She will be missed every day of my life forever."

Her grandson, Zachary Logan Poston, is recovering after being shot six times in the arms and legs, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by Korri Scheel Stevens, Poston’s great-aunt and Warden's sister-in-law.

“She is our hero,” Stevens wrote. “She saved Zachary's life.”

The high school sweethearts

Robert and Shani Corrigan, both 51, graduated together in 1985 from Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, Mich., got married and moved to Texas several years ago.

According to Facebook, the couple lived in Floresville and had three sons – two of them on active duty in the military. 

Last November, their 25-year-old son, Forrest, committed suicide, and they held a memorial at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Robert served 29 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2015 as a chief master sergeant. 

Friends on social media said he loved music and held the 2-mile track record at his high school for about 25 years.

"Bob loved playing guitar for the church music ministry more than anything else — and was likely doing that when him and Shani were killed," David Roll wrote on Facebook. "I feel blessed to have known them both."

Robert's mother, Jean Anne Corrigan, told WDIV in Detroit her son was "kind to everybody and made people laugh." She said Shani was a wonderful person and mother. 

"I know my son and my daughter-in-law are in the arms of Jesus," she said.

The wounded

Twenty people who were wounded in the attack were taken to area hospitals. 

Nine people were treated at University Hospital in San Antonio. Seven-year-old Emily Garza died. Two adults and two children remained at the hospital as of Wednesday with conditions ranging from good to critical. 

Brooke Army Medical Center, also in San Antonio, received eight patients — six adults and two minors — on Sunday. Of those still in the hospital, conditions range from fair to critical.

Some patients were sent to Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville, but they have all been released.

The full list of victims

The Texas Department of Public Safety has released the names of those who were killed in Sutherland Springs. Twenty-six victims, including an unborn child, are listed below.

Robert Scott Marshall, 56

Karen Sue Marshall, 56

Keith Allen Braden, 62

Tara E. McNulty, 33

Annabelle Renae Pomeroy, 14

Peggy Lynn Warden, 56

Dennis Neil Johnson, Sr., 77

Sara Johns Johnson, 68

Lula Woicinski White, 71

Joann Lookingbill Ward, 30

Brooke Bryanne Ward, 5

Robert Michael Corrigan, 51

​Shani Louise Corrigan, 51

Therese Sagan Rodriguez, 66

Ricardo Cardona Rodriguez, 64

Haley Krueger, 16

Emily Garza, 7

Emily Rose Hill, 11

Gregory Lynn Hill, 13

Megan Gail Hill, 9

Marc Daniel Holcombe, 36

Noah Holcombe, 1

Karla Plain Holcombe, 58

John Bryan Holcombe, 60

Crystal Marie Holcombe, 36, was pregnant with Carlin Brite Holcombe

The Associated Press, Davis Land of Houston Public Media and Joey Palacios and Ryan Poppe of Texas Public Radio contributed to this report.

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