SAN ANTONIO - It's been one month since a shooting took the lives of 26 members of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs -- the deadliest shooting in an American place of worship in modern history.
On Tuesday, KSAT 12 will honor the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in Texas by telling the stories of the victims and their families, as well as the first responders, both on-air and online.
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On Nov. 5 a 26-year-old gunman shot and killed 26 people including several children, a pregnant woman and the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter during a Sunday church service. The shooting was the fifth-deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the deadliest in Texas.
The victims range in age from 18 months up to 77 years old.
Wearing black tactical gear, the gunman fired on the congregation of 50 from outside before walking into the church. After opening fire inside the church, the shooter was confronted by someone who lived nearby and gunfire was exchanged. The shooter was chased off by two good Samaritans with the gunman ultimately dying from a combination of return fire and a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
Investigators say they believe the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute that involved the shooter's mother-in-law, who goes to the church, but happened to not attend that day.
“I don’t think they (the victims) could have escaped," Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt Jr. said at the time. "You’ve got your pews on either side.”
Following the shooting, a memorial was created to honor the lives that were lost. The church reopened its doors to show the pews and carpeting removed and the interior painted white. Red roses were propped on the chairs, one for every victim.
Since the shooting there has been a call for change. A family who lost three generations of loved ones that fateful day has since filed a wrongful death claim against the U.S. Air Force.
The Air Force has admitted fault in not notifying the FBI about the shooter's violent criminal history as well as a bad conduct discharge, both of which could have stopped the shooter from legally purchasing guns. It is unclear what financial compensation the family is asking for.
The community continues to try to move forward but they haven't been going at it alone. People in the surrounding areas have since held countless fundraisers from selling T-shirts, to BBQ plates as well as holding food drives.
In late November, a Christmas tree was placed outside a community building in Sutherland Springs, adorned with 26 angels in honor of all the victims: Robert Scott Marshall, Karen Sue Marshall, Keith Allen Braden, Tara E. McNulty, Annabelle Renae Pomeroy, Peggy Lynn Warden, Dennis Neil Johnson, Sr., Sara Johns Johnson, Robert Michael Corrigan, Shani Louise Corrigan, Therese Sagan Rodriguez, Ricardo Cardona Rodriguez, Haley Krueger, Emily Garcia, Emily Rose Hill, Gregory Lynn Hill, Megan Gail Hill, Marc Daniel Holcombe, Noah Holcombe, Karla Plain Holcombe, John Bryan Holcombe, Crystal Marie Holcombe and her unborn baby -- may they all rest in peace.
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