Vice President Pence visits families, attends vigil for Texas church shooting victims

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in meeting with the families of victims killed in Sunday’s mass shooting at a South Texas church.

The wives of Pence and Abbott joined the officials in going from table to table at the Floresville High School library to meet with the families of those killed at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Floresville is the Wilson County seat and the closest town of significant size to Sutherland Springs.

Pence spoke to John Holcombe, whose parents, wife, three of her children, a brother and a niece died Sunday. Holcombe and his wife’s 7-year-old daughter, Evelyn, managed to run out of the church. Holcombe was treated for shrapnel injuries and released from the hospital Monday.

Phillip Holcombe, the eldest of Crystal’s children, was also at the library. His aunt, Torie McCollum, told AP earlier that she worries most about Phillip, known as PJ, because he had already experienced the death of their father, Peter Hill, from congenital heart failure in 2011.

Sessions told members of the Johnson family “the country’s grieving.” The Johnsons are relatives of Lula White, the shooter’s wife’s grandmother who was among the more than two dozen killed in Sunday’s shooting. He told the Johnsons that he had just come from their First Baptist and that he “grew up in a church smaller than that one. Church is family.”

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