On November 5, 2017, an armor-clad gunman opened fire inside a rural Texas church on a Sunday, killing more than two dozen people in the largest mass shooting in the state’s history, according to officials. In addition, at least 19 others were hospitalized during the attack.
Twenty-five people were killed that day at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The massacre occurred 30 miles away from San Antonio. The shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley was 26 years old and lived in the neighboring Comal county.
As law enforcement responded, the suspect ran off the road in his car at the Wilson-Guadalupe county line and crashed, while exchanging shots with a resident. The suspect was found dead in the vehicle.
“It’s a small Baptist church. It’s an older building. I don’t know that they would have security cameras or anything high-tech like that. And I know they didn’t have security in the parking lot,” she said.
“I never thought it would happen here,” Matula added. “This is something that happens in a big city. I would never have thought this would have taken place here. It’s just too tight a community. It doesn’t make sense.”
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said agents from Houston and San Antonio responded to the scene.
Relatives of the gunman said they were shocked by the news.
“I never in a million years could’ve believed Devin could be capable of this kind of thing,” Dave Ivey, the shooter’s uncle, told NBC News. “I am numb. … My family will suffer because of his coward actions. … I am so sorry for the victims in Texas.”
Now a month has passed by and the town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, is still in mourning and likely will be for a long time. Victims of the attack are still recovering in the hospital. The mass shooting killed 25 people, including JoAnn Ward and her two daughters, Brooke and Emily.
However, Joann Ward’s stepson Ryland survived the attack. He was shot 5 times with two shots hitting his stomach, 2 in his leg, and one in his elbow. His grandmother Sandy Ward was so grateful Ryland survived and had hoped he would be discharged from the hospital by Christmas. Unfortunately, that will not be the case.
According to ConFighters:
“It’s really been hitting me this week,” his grandmother said. “It seems like all I do is cry lots of days because I still miss JoAnn and the girls and I’m sure it will be a long time before I get over that.”
The bullets broke Ryland’s femur, and it is not healing as fast as the doctors were expecting. It seems like he will be in the hospital for month or two. Meaning he will spend the Christmas season in the hospital.
He doesn’t know about his stepmother and sisters, but Ward said, “…I’m sure he’s kind of getting some kind of idea because he’s 5, and everybody else has been up there to see him and they haven’t been there.”
So, there is one little thing you can do to make the boy feel little better. His grandmother says Ryland has only one wish, he wants a go-kart.
Ward is only asking for people who can to send the little boy Christmas cards with a dollar inside. You can write a little message or add more than just a dollar if you want.
He will be thrilled to get donations to help him boy his go-kart and a kind note from a stranger. He also would like seeing photos of other kids with their pets.
Here is the address if you want to send him a card:
P.O. Box 174
Sutherland Springs, Texas, 78161
The attack in Sutherland Springs was the worst shooting at a house of worship in the history of our country. The town turned the church into a memorial after the massacre and hired contractors to completely remodel everything. They also painted it white. There are chairs with the victim’s names on them placed in the spot where they were killed on that fateful day.
Hopefully, Ryland’s Christmas wish will come true, and he can be cruising on his go-cart as soon as he recovers.
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