On Sunday afternoon in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Crystal Holcombe was among the 26 victims of a mass shooter. Holcombe was pregnant at the time. She was attending Sunday service with her family when Devin Kelley, 26, entered the church clad in combat gear and started shooting. Eight of Holcombe’s family members, along with her unborn child, were killed. Her husband John, along with two of her children, survived.
Among the dead were guest-pastor Bryan Holcombe, his wife Karla and his son Marc Daniel. Marc Daniel’s baby daughter was also killed.
Bryan was Crystal Holcombe’s brother-in-law.
According to the Washington Post, Joe and Claryce Holcombe, Bryan’s parents, learned that their family had been decimated about an hour after the shooting. The Holcombe family told the Washington Post that their son Bryan was called to preach.
“We knew when he was born, that he was going to be a preacher,” Joe Holcombe said. “His first word was ‘God.’”
The deaths in the Holcombe family sent shock waves through the tiny Texas town.
In the hours after her death, Crystal Holcombe’s Facebook page has remained public. There, mourners of all types have posted photos and comments memorializing Crystal and her family.
Among the many photos of her children is a Halloween snap uploaded less than a week before Crystal was gunned down. The photo shows Holcombe and two of her children sitting outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, the same church where Kelley committed his massacre.
Other photos show the proud mother posing with her husband and children. John Holcombe has yet to make a statement since the deaths of his family members. His Facebook page is also public and includes a post about the topic of his Sunday school lesson on the day of the shooting.