Church where massacre occurred will be demolished

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX - NOVEMBER 5: Law enforcement officials gather near the First Baptist Church following a shooting on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas. At least 20 people were reportedly killed and 24 injured when a gunman, identified as Devin P. Kelley, 26, allegedly entered the church during a service and opened fire. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

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.

The church regularly recorded its services, and the footage investigators have seen shows several minutes of the attack because there was “no one to turn it off,” according to a law enforcement official who has seen the video.

The law enforcement official was among those who went inside the church after the attack and said several of the pews were overturned, although it was unclear if that was from the attack or from rescue efforts. Bullets had splintered the walls and pews, leaving shards of wood all over the floors.

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