This weekend’s tragedies serve as a painful reminder to many of South Texas’ own horrific mass shooting almost two years ago.
Twenty-six people were killed and 20 others injured when a man opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.
It will be two years in November since the shooting happened, but experts tell KENS 5 when similar incidents happen like the ones in El Paso and Dayton, it stirs up memories for many like it was yesterday.
Mary Beth Fisk, the CEO of the Ecumenical Center, a counseling practice, rushed to First Baptist Church the minute she got the call that November morning.
“We were at the church within about an hour and a half of the event occurring,” she told KENS 5 on Monday morning.
First Baptist Church is where the Ecumenical Center has managed to stay since then.
Fisk opened up a satellite office inside and another location, just down the road in La Vernia
“We continue to see the needs for both adults and children who have gone through such a difficult time,” Fisk said.
“It’s not something that can escape and leave your mind instantaneously it’s something you continue to carry, you carry this burden until you can get process it and get to this new normal place.”
That’s the best advice Fisk can give anyone going struggling with their emotions in the wake of the recent events.
The pain will linger but it’s how you manage that’s vital. Fisk told KENS 5 it starts with a conversation with a licensed professional and for the people of Sutherland Springs, a little bit of faith.
“That fear can overcome you and you can be paralyzed in that so it’s important to process those feelings,” she said. “These types of events are not a normal thing, this is tragic and it’s a very sad time in our country, but it’s important that we don’t lose hope.”
Fisk tells KENS 5 they also have a group of counselors on standby to respond to El Paso if needed.
We did reach out to First Baptist Church but the pastor was not available for comment on Monday.