Pence: Church attacker failed to silence the testimony of faith
by Leigh Jones
Posted 11/09/17, 12:21 pm
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared Nov. 12 a statewide day of prayer for the victims of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Vice President Mike Pence joined Abbott at a memorial service Wednesday night after visiting with hospitalized victims in San Antonio and with survivors and relatives in nearby Floresville. “Whatever animated the evil that descended on that small church, if the attacker’s desire was to silence their testimony of faith, they failed,” Pence said, calling the gunman “deranged.” During his meeting with survivors, Pence told one man, “The whole country is praying over you.” He also talked with John Holcombe, who lost his wife, unborn child, parents, a brother, a niece, and three stepchildren in the attack. Pence stopped to hug Holcombe's stepdaughter, 7-year-old Evelyn Hill, who survived by running out of the church while bullets flew around her. FBI agents are still trying to unlock the gunman’s iPhone, and representatives from Apple have offered to help. Meanwhile, investigators have reviewed video of the shooting captured by cameras set up to record the worship service. The video is consistent with what survivors recounted, including the gunman targeting children and shooting victims in the head. Twenty-six people died in the attack and 11 of the 20 wounded remain hospitalized. According to the Southern Baptist Convention, Pastor Frank Pomeroy plans to demolish the building where the attack occured.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on education for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Digital.