SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy said he turned the radio to his daughter’s favorite Christmas station on Wednesday morning because he knew she would be disappointed if the tragic mass shooting here also killed her family’s holiday spirit.
“It is hard to cope right now,” he told NBC News in an exclusive broadcast interview Wednesday, his voice starting to strain as he wiped a tear from his eye. “But I know Annabelle would have still wanted that Christmas music on. She would want the holidays to proceed — it was her favorite time of the year.”
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — The Texas church where more than two dozen people were killed by a gunman during Sunday services will be demolished, the pastor said.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this week that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church as a place of worship.
Pomeroy discussed the state of the building with the denomination’s top executives, who traveled to the rural community in a show of support, a national Southern Baptist spokesman said.
The pastor described the church as “too stark of a reminder” of the massacre, spokesman Sing Oldham said.
No final decisions can be made without consulting congregants, but Pomeroy discussed turning the site into a memorial for the dead and putting up a new building on property the church owns, Oldham said.
Charlene Uhl, mother of 16-year-old Haley Krueger, who died in the attack, agreed that the church should
Police have identified the mass murderer in today’s church shooting, while the pastor of the First Baptist Church in South Southerland has confirmed that his own 14-year-old daughter was among those killed.
A press briefing is expected shortly.
Wilson Country officials have told reporters that as many as 27 people are dead and nearly as many injured, though local officials have not yet held a press conference to confirm numbers. Other reports put the death count at 25, and MSNBC was calling the mass murder the largest-ever shooting at a house of worship.