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Local family remembers relative killed in Texas church shooting

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Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 16:36:13-05

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday released the names of the 26 people killed in a Texas church on Sunday. Eight children, one unborn child, and 17 adults lost their lives.

Tara McNulty, a single mom of two, was among them. McNulty is part of a large extended family. Two of her relatives who live in the Baltimore-area sat down with ABC2.

Darlene Graves had heard about the Texas shooting and she immediately thought about the families that would be devastated. What she didn't know, was that it would be hers soon hurting.

“When you get a phone call like that you just hit your knees. There's no good way to react, you don't know how to respond and now it's in your living room,” said Graves.

News of 33-year-old McNulty's death traveled from Sutherland Springs to Baltimore, and to her mom's cousins Graves and Karla Kahler.
    
“Tara was a good person. Tara had a lot of life ahead of her. Tara's children were sitting next to her when this happened,” said Graves.

McNulty's kids and aunt are expected to be okay physically, but the trauma of what happened is something all of the victims, their families, and the small town of 600 will deal with for sometime.

DONATION PAGE: Memorial Fund for Tara

“These kids lives are changed forever, their grandmother's life changed forever, our lives changed forever,” said Kahler.

Graves and Kahler wanted to share McNulty's story because they want people to remember her face, her spirit. And they want to continue the conversation on how to make a change so this doesn't happen again.

“A good mother taking her kids to church, you know, church and school, there's no sanctuary anymore. And I don't care what side of this argument you're on, I don't want my kids having to protect themselves in school, I don't want to protect my family going into church. I don't have an answer but I believe we are at a crossroads here,” said Graves.

The shooting adds to the growing list of unimaginable tragedies once again sending ripples of grief throughout the country.

“We just hope that no one else gets that phone call. It's gut-wrenching, and I guess I'm just pleading at this point. I'm pleading, what do we do?,” said Graves.

McNulty worked two jobs supporting her children. She and her kids were also very close with the Holcombes, who lost eight family members.

There is a GoFundMe page collecting donations for McNulty's funeral costs and to help pay for her children's medical expenses. If you’d like to contribute, click here.