Texas shooting brings up painful past for Baton Rouge family

Jade Cunningham talks to a Baton Rouge family who were the victims of a church shooting 11 years ago.

NEW ORLEANS, La. - For a family out of Baton Rouge, Sunday's mass shooting in Texas brought up a painful past. For Robert Brown and his family, news of the shooting is forcing them to relive a memory they wish never happened in the first place. It took place May 21st, 2006, but for the Browns it feels like it was just yesterday.

26 people were killed Sunday in Texas, the youngest just 18-months-old, when 26-year-old Devin Kelley sprayed bullets inside Sutherland Spring's First Baptist Church.

"As a state we are dealing with the largest mass shooting in our state's history," said Governor Greg Abbott.

For many across the United States, the shooting is heartbreaking. For Brown, it takes him back eleven years when a similar incident happened to his family.

"I felt so sad," he said. "It brought back memories. Every time this happens, it brings back memories."

His wife, Claudia, was pastor of Ministries of Jesus Christ Church when their son-in-law, Anthony Bell, came and opened fire. Four family members of Brown were shot and killed. Claudia, who was shot in the head, survived.

"She's keeping herself busy, she's positive about things," he said.

Bell also took Brown's daughter, Erica, to an apartment complex where he killed her. The two, Brown says, were married but separating. It was a domestic situation with a deadly ending, something Texas officials say they're looking into regarding what happened Sunday.

"There was a domestic situation going on with this family," said one official. "There were threatening text messages from him (Kelley) but we cannot go into detail about the situation."

As people in Texas try and heal from Sunday's shooting, Brown says his family found their strength through faith.

"He made choices and he has to suffer the consequences that goes with that," he said. "But as far as me and my family, we're going to serve the Lord and part of that is forgiveness."

© 2017 WWL-TV


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