'I don't understand, but I know my God does': Tearful pastor and wife speak of losing their daughter in church shooting

Pastor Frank Pomeroy, with his wife Sherri, listens at a news conference outside the site of the shooting at his church, the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.Reuters

The pastor at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and his wife have spoken about losing their 14-year-old daughter during the shooting there on Sunday which left 26 people dead.

Annabelle Pomeroy's adoptive father, Frank Pomeroy, who had been out of town during the attack in Texas, said at a tearful press conference yesterday: 'I don't understand, but I know my God does.'

Frank described Annabelle, known as Belle, as 'one beautiful girl' and a 'special child'.

His wife, Sherri Pomeroy, said: 'We lost more than Belle yesterday. And one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her family that she loved fiercely.'

Sherri continued: 'We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together, and we worshiped 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.'

The couple urged people: 'Please don't forget Sutherland Springs.'

Annabelle was a seventh grader at Briesemeister Middle School and the school district have made therapists available to students who feel affected by the shooting.

Her uncle, Scott Pomeroy, wrote on Facebook: 'Heaven truly gained a real beautiful angel this morning along with many more'.

All those killed at the church on Sunday, he wrote, 'have taken their last breath of dirty air and took their first breath of heavenly air with new bodies with no pain and suffering'.

As well as the 26 who were killed in what was the biggest shooting in Texan history on Sunday, 20 more were injured.

The victims included a heavily pregnant woman and reportedly five other members of her family, and ranged in age from 18 months to 77, with two killed outside the church, 23 killed inside, and one person who died after medical transport.

The victims also included the stand-in pastor for the Pomeroys, Bryan Holcombe. Witnesses say that he was the first to be struck.

'Bryan was filling in,' one witness told DailyMail.com. 'He was walking up to the pulpit when he was shot in the back. He was an awesome Christian.'

Holcombe was killed alongside his wife of 25 years, Sunday school teacher Karla Holcombe, their son Marc Daniel 'Danny' Holcombe, 36, and his one-year-old daughter Noah.