Sutherland Springs Shooting

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

The First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs broke ground at the site of a new church on Saturday, six months after a gunman killed more than two dozen people during Sunday services.

President Trump took office in January, vowing in a dark-toned inaugural to end what he described as "this American carnage" fueled by gangs, drugs and street violence.

America did see historic carnage in 2017, but critics say it had far less to do with gangs and drugs than with disturbed individuals with easy access to firearms.

Mengwen Cao/KUT

From Texas Standard.

The U.S. House has passed a bill allowing gun owners with licenses to carry firearms to carry those firearms weapons across state lines. It’s a bill the National Rifle Association has dubbed a “legislative priority.”

Following the deadly mass shootings in Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas, legislators in Washington are also looking for a consensus on improving the national background check system for gun purchases, as well as banning a device known as “bump stocks.”

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced the release of bipartisan legislation Thursday aimed at strengthening the federal background check database following the recent mass shooting in Sutherland Springs.

Members of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas held their first Sunday service following last Sunday's mass shooting there.

In an emotional sermon, Pastor Frank Pomeroy spoke of the 26 killed on Nov. 5., including his 14-year-old daughter, invoking a sense of both personal and communal loss.

"I know everyone who gave their life that day. Some of whom where my best friends and my daughter. I guarantee they are dancing with Jesus today," said Pomeroy, according to the Associated Press.

The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will reopen to the public as a memorial on Sunday, it announced on its website, one week after a mass shooting in the church rattled the small Texas town.

In the past few days, residents have been working as volunteers to restore the church, where a gunman opened fire on a congregation, killing more than two dozen people and wounding 20 others.

In the middle of the showroom at Trey Ganem Designs is a small casket on a rolling cart. It's not yet fully assembled, but it is painted a dazzling, sparkling pink.

The casket is for a little girl – one of the 26 lives lost in Sunday's massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

"Her dad just said, 'That's my princess,' " Trey Ganem says, so Ganem is building her a princess casket to be laid to rest.

The pastor of the Texas church that was the site of a deadly shooting rampage this week says the bullet-riddled structure will be demolished because it is too stark of a reminder of the massacre.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy, whose 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle, was among the victims, told the Southern Baptist Convention on Thursday that he plans to have the church razed.

"There's too many that do not want to go back in there," Pomeroy told The Wall Street Journal.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Sutherland Springs residents and family members gathered in a football stadium Wednesday night to hear words of support from Vice President Mike Pence and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“Even though anguish and sorrow hang over the community,” Abbott said, “we will not be overcome by evil. Together we will overcome evil with good.”

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

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.

When a shooter started spraying the inside of a Sutherland Springs, Texas church with bullets on Sunday, 30-year-old Joann Ward "threw her body over the little ones," according to her mother-in-law, Sandy Ward.

The "little ones" who were at church that day were Joann Ward's daughters Rhianna Garcia, 9, Emily Garcia, 7 and Brooke Ward, 5 and stepson Ryland Ward, 5.

Joann Ward, Emily and Brooke died; Ryland was shot several times and remains in critical condition, facing multiple surgeries.

Mose Buchele / KUT

While the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs struggles to come to terms with the mass shooting at First Baptist Church on Sunday, another Texas community is also reeling.

David Schott/Flickr Creative Commons

From Texas Standard:

At least a dozen of those killed in Sunday’s mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs were children, and some of them attended the school districts surrounding the small town.

Officials from local districts made the decision to go forward with classes on the Monday after the shooting, far from certain as to how many empty seats there might be in some classrooms, or how students might be affected by the trauma the whole area is experiencing.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

The man who killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday was in a "conflict" with his ex-mother-in-law, Department of Public Safety officials said at a press conference today.

"The shooter was at odds with his in-laws," Texas Rangers Major Freeman Martin said. "There was conflict between the two families."

In the wake of the massacre at a small-town Texas church on Sunday, many people are asking why.

A large portion of the mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years have roots in domestic violence against partners and family members. Depending on how you count, it could be upwards of 50 percent.

President Trump says more thorough vetting for firearms purchases would have made "no difference" in the mass shooting at a Texas church despite reports that the suspect's past conviction on domestic assault charges should have disqualified him under federal law.

At a news conference in Seoul on the second leg of a five-nation Asian tour, Trump was asked by a journalist for NBC if he thought people wanting to purchase firearms should be subject to "extreme vetting."

How To Help The Victims Of The Sutherland Springs Shooting

Nov 6, 2017
Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Texans are helping the victims of the Sutherland Springs massacre through blood donations and also financial donations.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that several blood drives are being hosted in the San Antonio area and its surroundings.

Lynda Gonzalez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

A lone gunman killed 26 people and injured dozens more during a Sunday service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A few miles down the road in the small town of Stockdale, pastors are looking for ways to comfort their congregations: parishioners who are not only grieving for their neighbors, but who may also be concerned that their “sanctuary” is not immune to these horrific events.

Lynda Gonzales for KUT

Residents of Sutherland Springs, which is about 40 miles east of San Antonio, gathered for a prayer vigil Sunday night.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT

Twenty-six people are dead after a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles east of San Antonio.

Gov. Greg Abbott called it "the largest mass shooting in our state's history."