In the aftermath of the shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday, the community center became the hub of activity for those looking for connection with their neighbors, and those who were ready to offer help to victims and families of those affected by the tragedy.
Harvey Clark, who lives about four miles away in LaVernia, and whose kids had gone to school with some of the young people injured in the church, came to help. Clark is a former law enforcement officer and a veteran. Unlike most people in this rural area, he’s seen the aftermath of a mass shooting before.
Clark says he ran the Department of Defense investigation of a mass shooting at Fort Hood.
“It’s life,” he say of the Sutherland Springs shooting. “I don’t know what the individual’s motive was – why the individual came to this little town, this one church in the middle of nowhere. But he did it.”
Clark says the community is pulling together to move beyond Sunday’s events.
“The reality is how close this community is,” he says. “You have people from Schertz, from San Marcos, from Seguin, from Floresville, from Pleasanton, from San Antonio. This is Texas. This is a community. You hurt one of us, you hurt us all.”
Clark says coming to the Sutherland Springs community center was the natural thing for him to do.
“I’ve been a public servant, and a peace officer and a military member all my life,” he says. “I play softball, I play baseball, I’ve umpired. I’ve coached some of these kids. This is what you do.”
Clark says efforts at the community center are focused on bringing food to everyone from families of shooting victims, to first responders.
“We’ve had several communities come in and bring food,” Clark says. “HEB brought tons of food in here. I mean, those guys are like the FEMA of Texas.”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.