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Memorial Held At School Of Girls Shot Dead By Father At Arden Church

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There was an incredible show of support Friday for the mom who is now without her three daughters after they were tragically shot dead by their father who then turned the gun on himself at an Arden church.

The community gathered outside the elementary school where two of the girls went to school. They called out in prayer over heartbreak and for healing.

"She was kind, helping and really funny," said 11-year-old Isabella Hernandez.

Hernandez is experiencing a loss unimaginable for anyone, let alone a child. Three of her friends were gone in an instant: 13-year-old Samia; 9-year-old Sarah; and 10-year-old Samantha.

"Samara was amazing, and smart and kind," Hernandez said.

Her mom, Valerie Hernandez-Miller said her daughter is too young to go through something like this.

"The minute she found out, it was—she just broke down to her knees. She started crying and screaming," she said.

That's why Jade Williams organized a community memorial service. Her five-year-old daughter went to school with two of the girls at Bannon Creek in Natomas and came home asking her why a father would kill his little girls.  

"I'm speechless, I have no words," Williams said. "I'm devastated. I can't believe this really just happened. It's wrong."

Teachers, fellow parents and strangers left flowers, stuffed animals and balloons — anything to show a grieving mother the community cares and shares in her pain.

"I just want to keep her in prayer and I wish I could see her today so I could give her a hug and tell her how sorry I am for her," Williams said Friday.

"We're sending that love right now," Hernandez-Miller said. "Whatever we can do to help, you let the community know and we will step up."

The mother of the three little girls didn't attend the memorial service and instead released this statement:

"We would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received this week. It has helped us greatly as we work to process the overwhelming sense of grief and loss we are experiencing."

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