Sutherland Springs is a small Texas town with a broken heart

Community reflects on shooting

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas -- The 26 victims of Sunday's deadly church massacre represent 4 percent of the population of Sutherland Springs, a small Texas town with a broken heart.

There is a post office but no school, no police department, no reason for outsiders to notice this town -- until now.

Beulah Wilson, 88, is the retired postmaster. Her family moved from San Antonio to Sutherland Springs in 1954 to feel safe.

Beulah Wilson CBS News

"It's very close-knit. Very loving ... and our lives are like this, they're inter-weaved … everyone knows everyone," Wilson told CBS News. "When one hurts, we all hurt."

"I have friends that are dead, that I don't know which ones they are ... It's numbing. You're just numb," Wilson added.

First Baptist Church often responded to people who found trouble. On Sunday, trouble found the church -- the on-again, off-again spiritual home for the Wilson family over the last 63 years. She called it "an anchor."

"It's a place where you feel steady," she said. "Everybody wants to belong somewhere and you feel like you belong." She hopes the town will "get strong again."

Wilson was not in the church Sunday, but with so many of her friends and neighbors dead, CBS News asked when she would start to feel the anguish. She said when the funerals begin.

  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.