Fellow Texans pay respects to Sutherland Springs church shooting victims
In Sutherland Springs Tuesday, people from all over came to pay their respects to the victims.
It's clear this tragedy has had an impact far beyond the small town of Sutherland Springs. Fellow Texans drove in from other cities to offer prayer and support.
26 crosses outside of the town's community building represent the the lives of each person killed when a man opened fire at the First Baptist church Sunday morning.
"You never know what it's like until it hits your home, your people," said Sutherland Springs resident Rick Vance.
While residents of the town try to process why Devin Patrick Kelley targeted a sanctuary full of innocent worshipers, fellow Texans felt compelled to show their support.
"We've been praying for them just to the point where we decided to come out here and pray for them," said Samuel Arredondo.
Arredondo and his family drove in from San Antonio to lay a wreath near the scene.
"It's just so sad what has happened here," Arredondo said.
Arredondo, an Air Force veteran himself, can't fathom how a fellow veteran could commit such a horrific act.
"I understand he had a bad conduct discharge, but I wish that something else could've been done." Arredondo said.
Across the street from the church we met Donna Watkins who drove in from Corpus Christi.
"Once you have experienced homicide you know what the family is feeling and I knew I had to come," Watkins said.
Watkins said her brother was murdered 43 years ago, but she survived. Now she has made it her mission to be there for those going through the trauma of such sudden and devastating loss.
"They will gain a lot of strength from one another. Survivors of homicide that's what we have to do because together we are strong," Watkins said.
Memorial services have not been planned for the 26 victims, but local officials said they're working through the Texas Attorney General's Office victims fund to get the funerals paid for.