Valley Natives Lay Church Shooting Victims to Rest

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SUTHERLAND SPRINGS – Funerals were held Wednesday for victims of the Sutherland Springs church shooting.

They arrived in silence, their caskets carried on the shoulders of men in white cowboy hats.

A private burial service was held for a mother and two young daughters killed last week in Sutherland Springs.

The world knows Joann Ward and her children as victims of a tragic church shooting, but for a father from Edcouch, Joann was a daughter and her children were his grandchildren.

An hour away, a much larger public service was underway for nine members of the Holcombe family.

Thousands attended including Johnny Garcia, another Rio Grande Valley native. Garcia is not an old family friend.

“Had never met them before,” he said.

He is, however, a father and grandfather, “I have a granddaughter.”

Garcia is also a funeral director in Edinburg.

“When the need arose, I felt it was a call for me to assist the communities,” he said.

Ten days ago, a gunman stormed a tiny church and turned so many lives inside out.

The funerals for the victims may be over, but their stories, their legacies will carry on through loved ones and kind-hearted strangers, like Garcia.

“Our world is so big, but yet so small that a lot of people from the Valley have moved up for different reasons, but there is always a connection,” said Garcia.


7 Days