Vice President Mike Pence visits Sutherland Springs survivors

SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — Vice President Mike Pence touched down in San Antonio Wednesday to meet with victims and learn more about the devastation wrought when a gunman opened fire in a small church in Sutherland Springs — about 30 miles away.

Pence and his wife, Karen — along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Reps. Will Hurd, R-El Paso, and Henry Cuellar, D-San Antonio — met up with Gov. Greg Abbott there. The vice president and second lady visited survivors in the hospital before traveling to Sutherland Springs for a briefing on the investigation into the shooting at the First Baptist Church.

During a prayer vigil Wednesday evening at Floresville High School’s Eschenburg Field, Pence spoke about the devastation that hit the small Texas town.

“Three days ago, evil descended on a small town,” Pence said. “It was the worst mass shooting at a place of worship in American history.”

The vice president’s message to the community in attendance — which filled the stadium’s bleachers?

“Faith is stronger than evil,” said Pence. “Your testimony of Christian love is inspiring the nation.”

Pence also offered the condolences of the American people.

His wife led the stadium in prayer Wednesday night. She said, “Come and hold this community in your hands.”

Gov. Greg Abbott echoed Pence’s Christian sentiment. During the vigil Abbott said, “We mourn the loss of innocent lives. What happened is beyond explanation. One source that has the answers: God almighty.”

Gov. Abbott proclaimed Sunday, Nov. 12 a Day of Prayer to pray for an end to evil and violence, as demonstrated in Sunday’s shooting.

Pence previously traveled to Corpus Christie, Texas, with Gov. Abbott to survey the damage from Hurricane Harvey.

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