It was less than a week ago that Crystal Holcombe and her kids displayed smiling, painted faces at the First Baptist Church's fall festival in Sutherland Springs, Texas. In a sickening turn of events, the eight-months-pregnant mom became one of 26 people killed by a gunman inside that same church on Sunday. Eight Holcombe family members were victims of the mass shooting, including three of Crystal's five children (Emily, Megan and Greg), her father-in-law (Bryan Holcombe) and mother-in-law (Karla Holcombe).
Emily and Megan had just won third and first place, respectively, in a 4-H food show and contest. The proud mom posted about the girls' success and photos of their scrumptious creations on Facebook Saturday.
"Moving on to district! Emily's food challenge team did a great job, it was a new experience for all of them but they did so well!" Crystal wrote.
The girls participated in their first 4H Food show & food challenge today! They've worked hard and learned so much, I'm very proud of them both! Emily got 3rd in her category, and Megan placed 1st...
Photograph by Facebook
"She doesn’t even drink, smoke or nothing," her cousin, Nick Uhlig, told the Houston Chronicle. "She just takes care of kids, she raises goats and makes homemade cheese. That kind of thing. They don’t go out dancing or anything like that. They’re real old-fashioned, down-to-earth."
The 26 Sutherland Springs victims ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old. Twenty people were also wounded, ranging in age from 5 years old to 73 years old.
Crystal's husband, John Holcombe, and her two other kids survived the shooting but are still at the hospital. There is a GoFundMe set up for the family.
Six-year-old Noah Pozner's parents wanted to bury the young boy with letters of love from family who couldn't make the funeral, but since Jewish tradition calls for burial as soon as possible after a passing, it seemed impossible that the notes would get to Newtown in time for the funeral. But JetBlue made it happen, stepping in to fly the letters in from all over. Noah’s casket was overflowing with these loving goodbyes when he was laid to rest Monday.