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Plans to demolish Texas church where gunman opened fire in 2017 draw visitors back to sacred site – vopbuzz

Plans to demolish Texas church where gunman opened fire in.cms

TEXAS: Small church in Texas planned to be demolished Rifleman The killing of more than two dozen worshippers in 2017 drew visitors on Tuesday to be stopped in a last-minute intervention demolition.
Leaders First Baptist Church related to Sutherland Resources Authorities have not publicly stated when they plan to demolish the sacred site, where the death toll has been given. pull In what has been recorded as the deadliest church attack in US history, 26 people, including a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, lost their lives.
Inside the church on Tuesday were relatives of the victims and members of the community who had come to witness the incident. monumentsat on the ground in sorrowful silence, probably for the last time. Roses were placed in memory of the lives lost.
Roxanna Avants, 71, moved to Sutherland Springs after the shooting and said she came to support those who lost loved ones in the shooting. Avants said even if people don’t want to walk past a memory of a tragedy, the church is still a house of God and a memorial to those who died in 2017.
Outside the church, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office told reporters to leave the area and said neighbors had made requests citing private property. News cameras were not allowed inside the church or parking lot.
On Tuesday, a Texas judge approved a temporary restraining order sought by some families to delay the demolition. The order, signed by Judge Jennifer Dillingham, instructs the church not to begin demolition and to go to trial later this month.
But Sam Fugate II, an attorney representing the families seeking the protective order, said the church had still not been served with the order as of Tuesday afternoon and he was concerned the demolition could continue.
Church secretary Christine Earnhardt said Tuesday she could not confirm whether demolition was planned and that the church had no plans to comment or make a statement.
The lawsuit said that after the attack, the sacred site was turned into a memorial. The interior was painted white and chairs were placed with the names of those killed.
The church later voted to demolish the building in 2021, which opponents claimed was against the wishes of many surviving family members. A new church for the congregation was completed about a year and a half after the attack.
“We’re not after money. We’re after what’s fair,” Fugate said. “We want our clients to have their say on whether the church should stand up and take another vote.”
Church member Amber Holder, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said survivors of the shooting and… Families of the victims “A lot of the families of the victims were told, ‘You’re not allowed to vote here because you’re no longer a member,'” Holder said.
Holder said he was not at the ceremony that day but went there shortly after. As a teenager, he was adopted by the then-past’s family and his 14-year-old daughter Annabelle Pomeroy was among those killed.
Sutherland Springs Community Association President Terrie Smith said those she spoke to were “devastated” as news of the impending destruction spread in the community of fewer than 1,000. Smith said Joann Ward, a woman who was like a daughter to her, and her two daughters, ages 7 and 5, were among those killed in the attack.
Smith, who is not a member of the church, said he visits the memorial shrine often. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful monument in its current state,” he said.
“You feel the comfort of everyone who was lost there,” Smith said.
Communities across the U.S. are grappling with what to do at the site of mass shootings. Last month, demolition began on the three-story Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in the 2018 mass shooting. Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was demolished and replaced after the 2012 shooting.
Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, New York, and Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the site of racist mass shootings, have reopened. In Colorado, Columbine High School still stands — but its library, where many of the victims were killed, has been replaced.
In Texas, officials closed and plan to demolish Robb Elementary School in Uvalde after a mass shooting in 2022.
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