The teenaged daughter of the pastor was among the 26 people killed when a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, during the Sunday service.
Annabelle Pomeroy was 14 years old, said her mother, Sherri Pomeroy, who was traveling with her husband, Frank Pomeroy, when the shooting occurred.
“We lost more than Belle yesterday, and the one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded by her church family that she loved fiercely, and vice versa,” Sherri Pomeroy said.
“We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together, and we worshipped together. Now most of our church family is gone, our building is probably beyond repair and the few of us that are left behind lost tragically yesterday.
“As senseless as this tragedy was, our sweet Belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family.”
Speaking briefly to reporters Monday, she said she didn’t want her daughter’s death to overshadow the deaths of the others. “Please don’t forget Sutherland Springs,” Sherri Pomeroy said.
The church’s visiting pastor was also among the dead, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said. Twenty people were wounded.
CNN’s Doug Criss and Daron Simon contributed to this report.