How A Small Texas Town Coped With A 1980 Church Shooting (HBO)

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How A Small Texas Town Coped With A 1980 Church Shooting (HBO)

The last time Larry Linam saw his daughter, Gina, he was sending her off to Sunday school at the First Baptist Church, in downtown Daingerfield, Texas. It was a warm summer morning in 1980, and he had no idea his life was about to change forever.

A little while later, a disgruntled local schoolteacher burst into the crowded church, clad in body armor and carrying two assault rifles, and opened fire on the parishioners. He killed five people before he was finally wrestled down to the ground and disarmed. One of those killed was Mary Regina (Gina), aged 7. It was the first major mass shooting in a church in American history.

Thirty seven years later, Linam never forgets that tragic morning, his life has been inalterably ruptured. But after another mass shooting at a Texas church this week — one that bore remarkable similarities to the Daingerfield killings –Linam wasn’t alone in thinking back to those horrible seconds in 1980. VICE News visited Daingerfield in the days after the tragic attack in Sutherland Springs, to ask residents and survivors what it’s like for another town go through what they did — how much peace even 37 years can bring.

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