Sutherland Springs church where massacre occurred to be demolished

Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, took the podium Monday morning to respond to the mass shooting at their church in southeast Texas.

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS (AP) - The pastor of a small-town Texas church that was the site of a massacre plans to demolish the building.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs as a place of worship. A national Southern Baptist Convention spokesman said Pomeroy discussed the plan this week with the denomination's top executives who had traveled to the community in a show of support.

The spokesman, Sing Oldham, said Pomeroy expressed hope he could turn the site into a memorial for the more than two dozen people who were killed last Sunday and build a new church on property the church owns.

LIST: Names of victims killed in church shooting released

Vice President Mike Pence joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a memorial service for the victims of Sunday's massacre at a small-town Texas church.

Pence told the crowd Wednesday evening that the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was the worst mass shooting at a church in American history and called the gunman "deranged."

Abbott began the service by praying "for healing and for help." He also proclaimed Tuesday a statewide day of prayer.

Authorities say Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 in the attack, including the unborn baby of one of the women slain.

Apple released a statement saying it has offered the FBI technical advice after learning the bureau was trying to access Kelley's cellphone. The company says the FBI has not requested its assistance.

© 2017 Associated Press


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