At least 26 people were killed and 20 others were injured when a gunman opened fire at a church in the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, during a service Sunday.
Spanning from 18 months old to 77 years old, the victims of the shooting had gathered for a Sunday morning service at the First Baptist Church, where members of the community attended regular church services and, recently, a Halloween festival with games, candy and costumes. The victims included the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, as well as eight members of the same family that spanned three generations. The suspected shooter is dead, though the details of how he died are unclear.
Some victims are still recovering from gunshot wounds in neighboring hospitals, and many families are grappling with the loss of their loved ones. The mass shooting has become one of the most deadly incidents in modern U.S. history. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said it is the largest mass shooting in the state’s history. The violent massacre comes just a month after a gunman shot and killed 58 people at a music festival in Las Vegas.
To help the victims and their loved ones, officials in Sutherland Springs are urging people to donate money in specific people’s names and donate blood, especially if you are O-Negative or O-positive. Wilson County Audrey Louis said there is currently not a demand for “canned good and nonperishable items.”
“We’ve had a tremendous outpouring for people across the country for people wanting to assist our families and their needs,” Louis said.
Donate money to the victims of the Texas church shooting
While the church could not be immediately reached for comment, interested donors can give money directly to the First Baptist Church through its website or Facebook page. Donors can donate funds to the church with their credit cards, debit cards or PayPal accounts here, or using the Facebook “donate” tab on the church’s page here.
Louis, the Wilson County District Attorney, said at a news conference Monday that two bank accounts are currently being set up to accept donations for the families of the victims. Those bank accounts will be through the Sutherland Springs Community Association with Commerce Bank in Stockdale, Texas, and Wells Fargo Bank.
So far, GoFundMe has verified two fundraising pages in wake of the shooting. One of those pages is gathering funds to help the Holcombe family, who lost eight members of their family as a result of the shooting. According to the fundraising page, the money will be given to a member of the family named Sarah Slavin, who lost her father, mother, pregnant sister-in-law and five nieces and nephews as a result of the attack. More than $69,000 was raised from 1,199 donors as of Monday afternoon.
The other verified page is also raising money for that family, particularly for Crystal Holcombe, the pregnant mother, and three of her children. The crowdfunding page has raised more than $5,300 as of Monday afternoon.
Donate blood to the victims of the Texas church shooting
For those living in the area, a number of blood drives are being held over the next few days to help the victims recovering from gunshot wounds in the hospital. A representative from Connally Memorial Medical Center, where eight victims from the shooting were originally sent for care, shared details of the upcoming blood drives with MONEY.
Here’s where and when you can donate blood:
- Monday, Nov. 6 at Connally Memorial Medical Center from 1 p.m. CST to 6 p.m. CST
- Sunday, Nov. 12 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Floresville, Texas
- Sunday, Nov. 12 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Elmendorf, Texas
- Tuesday, Nov. 21 at Connally Memorial Medical Center 9 a.m. CST to 1 p.m. CST
The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is also encouraging anyone with O-positive or O-negative blood to donate to help the victims of the church shooting. Donors can give their blood at any of the organization’s seven locations, including in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Texas and Victoria, Texas. You can schedule an appointment to donate blood here.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.