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Sutherland Springs Church Where 26 People Were Killed Will Be Demolished, Pastor Says

Lynda Gonzalez
KUT News
The congregation of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs was attacked by a gunman on Nov. 5, 2017.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: First Baptist to be torn down; voter turnout was unsurprisingly low; Bill Paxton tribute in Fort Worth; and more.

The South Texas church where more than two dozen people were killed on Sunday will be demolished, the pastor said.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this week that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs as a place of worship.

Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were out of town when a gunman killed half of their congregation and wounded 20 others. One of the victims included their 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle.

An official list of victims was released by the Texas Department of Safety on Wednesday. Eight of them were children or teenagers.

It’s considered the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

Other sites of mass shootings also have been torn down, including Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in December 2012.

Vice President Mike Pence attended a vigil for the victims Wednesday. He said President Trump had ordered federal agencies to provide assistance in the investigation, including 100 on-site FBI agents.

Gov. Greg Abbott also attended the vigil with Pence and community members and declared Nov. 12 a statewide day of prayer.

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  • No shows: There was an election this week. About 6.5 percent of registered Dallas voters cast a ballot to decide the fate of a school bus service, a $1 billion bond package and a handful of proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. [D Magazine]

  • Name drop: A Native American group wants Keller High School to change its longtime mascot: Indians. Members voiced their concerns to the school board Thursday night. The Society of Native Nations says such mascots perpetuates racism. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

  • Remembering Bill Paxton: The Lone Star Film Festival runs this weekend in Fort Worth. To honor one of its biggest supporters, festival director Chad Matthews says several Bill Paxton movies will be screened. [Art&Seek]

  • Post-Veterans Day deal: You can get into any state park for free on Sunday.

The High Five is KERA’s daily roundup of stories from Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state. Explore our archives here. And sign up for our weekly email for the North Texas news you need to know.