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Abilene woman loses uncle in Sutherland Springs church shooting

ABILENE, Texas - Families are still recovering after the church shooting Sunday in Sutherland Springs that left 26 dead, and one Abilene woman says her uncle was one of the victims. 

"It's something you see on the news. You never imagine that your family is going to be impacted," she said. She asked to remain anonymous to protect her family's privacy.

"I've had cousins that have gotten married there, that have been baptized there, we've done family reunions there, so it hurts. We've always been in that church," she said. 

She said her dad told her to call him Sunday.

"I called ... and I literally just collapsed, fell to the floor," she said. Her aunt, uncle, and cousin were shot in the church, while two other family members were unharmed.

Her uncle did not make it. Her aunt and cousin will be in the hospital for weeks and will undergo multiple surgeries for their injuries.

"That's what I know the town for. If we're going out there, it's cause we're doing something at the church. Family doesn't just mean blood at that church, it's community," she said. 

Being in Abilene has been a challenge in helping her family heal. 

"I don't really know what the next step is. Going home and actually being with my family, hopefully, just kind of being there how I can, sharing the GoFundMe pages, doing what I can from here," she said.

The fund was set up by relatives to help offset the hospital costs for her aunt and cousin, as well as the funeral for her uncle.  She says she's thankful for the contributions.

"It's beautiful because people are like, 'We want to help, how can we help,' and that gives them a way to help instead of just wondering what they can do," she said. 

If you would like to contribute to the GoFundMe for her aunt and uncle, click here. To donate to her cousin's hospital fund, click here.


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