The pastor of the Texas church that was the site of a deadly shooting rampage this week says the bullet-riddled structure will be demolished because it is too stark of a reminder of the massacre.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy, whose 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle, was among the victims, told the Southern Baptist Convention on Thursday that he plans to have the church razed.
“There’s too many that do not want to go back in there,” Pomeroy told The Wall Street Journal.
“The pastor expressed his desire that perhaps the best way forward is to have the church demolished and replaced with a prayer garden,” convention spokesman Roger “Sing” Oldham, was quoted by USA Today as saying.
He added that parishioners haven’t “had a chance to fully deal with the grief and then come together to make a decision.”
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A law enforcement official leaves the First Baptist Church on Tuesday, in Sutherland Springs Texas.
David J. Phillip/AP
Oldham was quoted by The Associated Press as saying the church is “too stark of a reminder” of Sunday’s mass shooting in which a gunman opened fire on the building with a semiautomatic assault-type rifle, killing more than two dozen people and wounding 20 others.
According to The Associated Press:
“Other sites of mass shootings have been torn down, including Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in December 2012. A new school was built [on the same site].
A one-room Amish schoolhouse near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was torn down in 2006, 10 days after an assailant took children hostage and shot and killed five girls ages 6 to 13.”
Nov. 10, 2017
A previous version of this story quoted an incorrect statement from the Associated Press that the Sandy Hook Elementary school was rebuilt elsewhere. It is on the same site although not in the same footprint as the original school.