Visitation held for Ward Family killed in Sutherland Springs

A visitation was held today for Joann Ward and her two daughters, 5-year-old Brooke Ward and 7-year-old Emily Garcia. Ward died trying to save her four children from bullets, inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

SAN ANTONIO - A visitation was held today for Joann Ward and her two daughters, Brooke and Emily.

Ward died trying to save her four children from bullets inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

"Joann had thrown her body across the three younger ones. When they found Brooke, she was holding Brooke in her arms," the children's grandmother, Sandy Ward, told KENS 5.

Family and friends gathered at Castillo Mission Funeral Home Tuesday, saying goodbye to 30-year-old Joann Ward, 5-year-old Brooke Ward and 7-year-old Emily Garcia.

Joann leaves behind a husband and two children.

9-year-old Rihanna and 5-year-old Ryland were also at First Baptist Church during the shooting and survived.

Miraculously, Rihanna wasn't injured. 

Ryland was shot 5 times and is still in the hospital. The family says he's undergone surgery, and his condition has improved; He no longer needs life support.

"Then you realize, Rihanna and Ryland, their mama's gone," said Ward. "Even though she was Ryland's step-mom, she was still Ryland's mama."

In an interview November 6, Ward said a generous man volunteered to make customized caskets for Joann, Brooke, and Emily.

A GoFundMe for the family has raised over $65,000, on top of $100,000 raised for Ryland's medical expenses on a separate GoFundMe page.

"I know they're in heaven and they're happier than any of us," said Ward. "We're only feeling sorry for ourselves because they're much better off than we are. Someday we'll all be together again."

A funeral mass will be Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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