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The Latest: Church groups visit grieving Texas town

First responders join in prayer following a Veterans Day event, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, near the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than two dozen.

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 15:41:56 -0500

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas church shooting (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Church groups from throughout the region have made pilgrimages to Sutherland Springs, Texas, to pay their respects to those killed and injured in last week's mass shooting.

Jackie Lee says she asked her friends on Facebook if anyone would be willing to come with her from San Antonio this weekend to visit the memorial and the church. Instead of the handful she expected to say yes, 25 people asked to go with her.

David Delaware leads a Baptist congregation that sings gospel music called David Delaware and the Divine Sound. The group sang a version of "Hold On" by The Walls Group near a row of white crosses in Sutherland Springs.

Saturday was the first chance many people had to visit the small town since last Sunday's attack, in which more than two-dozen people were killed.

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12:15 p.m.

A line of first responders and law enforcement personnel stood with heads bowed in Sutherland Springs for a Veterans Day ceremony that also was meant to honor the more than two dozen people killed a block away at a church.

About 100 people gathered Saturday outside the community center for the ceremony, where a wreath was placed near flags to remember those killed last weekend. Nearly half of the shooting victims had ties to the U.S. Air Force.

Wilson County Judge Richard Jackson's voice broke as he thanked the first responders and others who rushed to First Baptist Church in the aftermath of the shooting. Jackson, the county's top administrator, says the scene will affect them the rest of their lives.

Jackson said he hopes Saturday's ceremony will start a healing process "to put this horrific tragedy behind us and look to the future."

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12:30 a.m.

Veterans Day has special meaning this year in the small South Texas community where a church massacre occurred last weekend. Nearly half of the victims had ties to the U.S. Air Force.

The church attack victims with military backgrounds will receive a full military salute Saturday on the grounds of the community hall in Sutherland Springs as Veterans Day is observed.

An Air Force official has said that 12 of the victims had direct connections to the Air Force, "either members or with family ties."

Devin Patrick Kelley killed more than two dozen people in a shooting Nov. 5 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Kelley died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the massacre.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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