A pregnant mother of five is among the 26 people killed by a gunman who opened fire on First Baptist Church in Sunderland Springs, Texas, on Sunday.
Crystal Holcombe, who was eight months pregnant, died with her unborn child, along with three of her other children, Emily, Megan and Greg, GoodHousekeeping.com confirms with family friend Christopher Foster. Her husband, John, survived the attack, as did their two other kids.
However, John's parents — guest preacher Bryan Holcombe and his wife Karla — didn't make it out alive. Neither did his brother, Marc Daniel Holcombe. Neither did Marc Daniel's 1-year-old infant daughter, Noah.
In total, eight members of the family were killed, plus Crystal's unborn baby.
Friend of the family Steven Haggerty tells GoodHousekeeping.com that the religious clan were valued members of the Sutherland Springs community, which has only a couple hundred residents.
"Every member of the family was a loving person you could always count on," says Haggerty, who was close with John. "They seemed to always be involved in helping the community through the church."
The church is a focal point of Sutherland Springs, which lies about 30 miles east of San Antonio. So when the gunman opened fire during Sunday's service, he wiped out 4% of its population in a matter of minutes. At least 20 others were injured in the massacre.
Crystal is described as an "old-fashioned, down-to-earth," mother who loved spending time with her children.
"She doesn't even drink, smoke or nothing," her cousin, Nick Uhlig, told the . "She just takes care of kids; she raises goats and makes homemade cheese. That kind of thing, you know? They don't go out dancing or anything like that. They're real old-fashioned, down-to-earth."
Crystal home-schooled her five children and often posted about her children's successes in local 4-H club competitions on .
John, who was struck with shrapnel in his leg during the shooting, teaches Sunday school and runs the audio for Sunday services at First Baptist Church, according to the .
His grandparents, Joe and Claryce Holcombe, described John and Crystal as "fantastic" parents to the publication.
Parents of other victims say they take solace knowing their loved ones died with members of the special church community.
"One thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely, and vice-versa," Sherri Pomeroy, who lost her 14-year-old daughter Annabelle, said during a press conference. "Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners, we were a very close family. We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together and worshiped together. Now most of our church family is gone, our building probably beyond repair and the few of us that are left behind lost tragically yesterday.
Foster set up a to assist Sarah Slavin, John's sister. She told the that her family wasn't "afraid of death. They had a strong faith, so there's comfort in that."
"It will take a lot of funds to cover eight funerals, lost wages," Foster, who has known Slavin for 19 years, tells GoodHousekeeping.com. "Perhaps counseling."
GoodHousekeeping.com verified the GoFundMe page with Slavin, who declined to comment for this story. She says the funds will go directly to her and her family.