Family Killed In Sutherland Springs Shooting Laid To Rest | Texas Public Radio

Family Killed In Sutherland Springs Shooting Laid To Rest

Nov 16, 2017

Ten of the two dozen victims in the Sutherland Springs Church shooting in Texas were remembered at a service Wednesday.

The Holcombe name is very recognizable in Wilson County. Bryan Holcombe, 60, was filling as pastor at First Baptist the day of the shooting. He and his wife Karla were killed that Sunday along with others members of their family.


Bryan and Karla owned a shop that provided canvas awnings. David Durham worked with the Holcombes in that industry.

“There was not a bad bone in his body,” Durham said. “Every single time I encountered him or picked up tarps, he always had a smile on his face and was just happy, genuinely happy, and genuinely interested in whatever’s going on your life.”

MORE | This story also aired on NPR's "Morning Edition"

That can be said for the entire Holcombe family, said Jimmy Fietsam, a family friend. “It’s a great loss because they were well known and very nice people.”

The service at the Floresville 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.

Family and friends leave the Floresville Event Center and enter limousines to head to the Sutherland Springs Cemetery.
Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

Crystal Holcombe was 36 and pregnant. She and three of her children – Emily, Greg, and Meghan Hill — were killed. Her unborn child is counted among the dead.

“She was just a gentle sweet soul and very soft spoken with everyone including her children,” said Susan Shanzer, a long time family friend.

Shanzer recalled when Crystal would babysit her grandchildren.

"She'd have all these children and paper plates everywhere with food and they were all happy and well fed, and she looked perfectly unruffled, she was able to cope with all of that seemingly without any problem,” she said. “And that was the thing about her that I most admired was her composure."

Marc "Danny" Holcombe, 36, 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.

Joey Palacios can be reached at joey@tpr.org or on Twitter @joeycules