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3 Generations Of Holcombe Family Remembered After Texas Shooting


More than a thousand people gathered for a funeral in Texas yesterday. They were there remembering eight of the 26 lives lost in that mass shooting in Sutherland Springs. All eight were members of one family. Here's Joey Palacios of Texas Public Radio.

JOEY PALACIOS, BYLINE: The name Holcombe is very recognizable in Wilson County. Bryan Holcombe was 60 years old. He was filling in as pastor at First Baptist the day of the shooting. He and his wife, Karla, were killed that Sunday, along with other members of their family. Bryan and Karla owned a shop that provided canvas awnings. David Durham worked with Bryan in that industry.

DAVID DURHAM: There was not a bad bone in his body. Every single time I encountered him or picked up tarps, he was - always had a smile on his face and was just happy, genuinely happy, and genuinely interested in whatever's going on in your life.

PALACIOS: That can be said for the entire Holcombe family, according to friend Jimmy Fietsam.

JIMMY FIETSAM: It's a great loss because they were well known and very nice people.

PALACIOS: The service at the city of Floresville's event center was open to the public. Nearly 3,000 people attended. The caskets were placed end to end and some were decorated to match the personality of each person. Crystal Holcombe was 36 and pregnant. She and three of her children - Emily, Gregg and Meghan Hill - were killed. Her unborn child is counted among the dead. Susan Shanzer is a longtime family friend.

SUSAN SHANZER: She was just a gentle, sweet soul and very soft-spoken with everyone, including her children.

PALACIOS: Thirty-six-year-old Marc Holcombe and his infant daughter Noah were killed. Their friend, 33-year-old Tara McNulty, was also killed. Her two children survived. The Holcombes and the Hills were buried in a private ceremony at the Sutherland Springs Cemetery. For NPR News, I'm Joey Palacios in Floresville, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOLIDEN'S "BREEZE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.