Texas church shooting victims: Children among the dead

Pastor Frank Pomeroy with his wife Sherri the day after the Texas church shooting, 6 November 2017 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife Sherri who have lost a daughter

Half of the 26 victims of the worst mass shooting in Texas history are children, officials say, as a portrait of a small town Texas church emerges.

A pregnant woman's unborn baby was named as the shooting's youngest victim. Another child killed was just one year old.

The oldest victim of the attack was a 77-year-old woman.

Twenty more were wounded, 10 were in a critical condition. Authorities fear the death toll could rise.

Local law enforcement have not released the victim's identities, but the names of some of those gunned down are emerging.

According to US media, the gunman's ex-wife's grandmother was among the dead.

Annabelle Pomeroy

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Media caption'Belle died with her church family,' her mother said

The first victim to be named was the 14-year-old daughter of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Spring's pastor, Frank Pomeroy.

Pastor Pomeroy, who was away in Oklahoma at the time, told ABC News she was "one very beautiful, special child".

"We lost more than Belle yesterday, and one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely," her mother Sherri said on Monday.

Eight family members lost

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Bryan and Karla Holcombe

Eight members of the Holcombe family were among the dead. Bryan Holcombe was serving as the guest pastor in Pastor Pomeroy's absence.

An associate pastor at the church who also conducted prison ministry, he was about to lead the congregation in worship when he was shot dead, his parents Joe and Claryce told the Washington Post.

Bryan's wife of 25 years, Karla, died too. Their son Marc Daniel Holcombe, 36, died alongside his one-year-old daughter Noah.

Another son of Bryan and Karla, John, survived but his eight-month pregnant wife, Crystal Holcombe, was killed. They were expecting their first child together. The unborn child has been included in the death count.

Image copyright Reuters

The gunman killed three of Crystal's five children by a previous marriage - Emily, Megan and Greg. The two others are said to be in the hospital with their stepfather, according to CNN.

"She doesn't even drink, smoke or nothing," her brother Nick Uhlig told the Houston Chronicle.

"She just takes care of kids; she raises goats and makes homemade cheese... They don't go out dancing or anything like that. They're real old-fashioned, down-to-earth."

Tara Elyse McNulty

Image copyright Reuters

The Holcombe's close family friend was killed with her two children, who were wounded.

She reportedly lived with Bryan and Karla and called them Mom and Dad, according to local reports.

"This is a huge loss. Tara was very kind-hearted person, great employee," wrote Kevin Koenen, the owner of the Aumont Saloon where Ms McNulty worked.

'Goddaughter gunned down'

A 13-year-old girl was shot dead, the San Antonio Express-News reports. Amanda Mosel, 34, said the victim was her goddaughter.

Ex-wife's grandmother

Image copyright HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Family members confirmed that Lula White, the gunman's ex-wife's grandmother, was also among the dead.

White frequently volunteered at the church, according to her Facebook page.

Mother and two daughters

Brooke Ward, five, and Emily Garza, seven, were killed, along with their mother Joann Ward.

Her son Ryland, also aged five, was seriously injured - but is expected to survive.

Image copyright HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Nine-year-old Rihanna - the oldest daughter - survived.

Ms Ward's friend, Vonda Greek Smith, paid tribute to the mother-of-four on Facebook, saying that she died "shielding" her children.

"Little Rihanna (9) was there at the shooting but mommy pushed her down when she saw the shooter open fire, so in her words, 'I didn't get shot because I was hiding, and momma covered Emily, Ryland & Brooke.'"

Haley Krueger

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Image caption Haley Krueger, 16

Haley Krueger, 16, was also killed, her mother Charlene Marie Uhl told US media.

"She was a vibrant 16-year-old that loved life," Mrs Uhl said, adding that she had hopes to become a nurse.

"She loved babies and always wanted to help."

Haley had arrived at church early on Sunday to prepare breakfast, her mother told People magazine.

Richard and Therese Rodriguez

Image copyright Reuters

Richard Rodriguez and his wife of 11 years, Therese Rodriguez, were killed.

Richard's daughter told US media that her father and stepmother were active in the church community. She said they often took their grandchildren to church, but did not on the day of the shooting.

Robert and Shani Corrigan

Image copyright HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Robert was a retired high-ranking member of the US air force and had served for 30 years. Their two children are also reportedly on active service.

"This is a huge tragedy, not only for the family, for this small town," said Renee Haley, director of Veterans Services for Clare County, Michigan.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available

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