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First responder describes losing family in Texas church shooting

Torie McCallum: 'My heart immediately sank'

SAN ANTONIO – It’s the call no first responder wants to hear.

Wilson County emergency medical technician Torie McCallum was on her way to the scene of the Texas church shooting when she found out it was the church members of her family attended.

“I turn on my E-Dispatch on my phone to listen to the page and realized it was the church in Sutherland Springs and my heart immediately sank,” McCallum said.

McCallum’s sister-in-law, Crystal Holcombe; her nieces Emily, Megan and Evelyn; and her nephew, Greg Hill, were all inside the church.

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Along with Holcombe were her husband, John Holcombe; his parents, Bryan and Karla Holcombe; his brother, Marc Holcombe; and 1-year-old niece, Noah.

“I made it to the scene to see if I could see who was flown out and who was taken, if they had a list,” McCallum said.

A fellow medic and coworker were able to identify one of McCallum’s nieces.

“I showed him a picture of my niece, Emily, and he said that was her,” McCallum said.

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McCallum waited for hours before authorities began to remove the bodies from the church and she was able to see Crystal, Megan and Greg. 

“I wanted to see them out. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to see them get out of that church,” McCallum said.

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The only survivors were John Holcombe and McCallum’s 6-year-old niece, Evelyn. The two have since been released from the hospital.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account where donations can be made. 

Continuing coverage on KSAT.com:

Photos, videos from Sutherland Springs church shooting scene 

Pastor says victims in church shooting 'were believers, with their Lord and savior right now'

Reactions pour in following mass shooting at church in Sutherland Springs, Texas 

New details about victims, gunman released in First Baptist Church shooting

Men shot at, chased after Sutherland Springs church shooter 

Vigil held outside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs 

Wilson County Sheriff: 'No way' for people to escape church shooting 

A look inside Sutherland Springs' First Baptist Church before mass shooting


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