SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Through prayers and tears, dozens of community members and friends gathered Tuesday to remember three young girls who were tragically shot dead by their father at an Arden area church.
“We don’t always know why things happen, but the girls were just really, really sweet girls,” said Brittney, who did not want her last name used.READ MORE: Stagg High Stabbing Suspect Anthony Gray Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
Brittney works at Bannon Creek Elementary where sisters 10-year-old Samantha and 9 year old Samarah Mora Gutierrez went to school.
“I just can’t imagine the pain the mom is feeling because our staff and community is feeling it,” explained Brittney.
Her daughter Aubrey filmed videos dancing with Samantha last Friday.
“She was always trusting, and if you felt something, you could talk to her,” Aubrey said. ”I didn’t think someone would hurt them, especially their father.”
The two girls along with their older sister, 13-year-old Samia, were shot and killed by their father during a supervised visitation at The Church in Sacramento on Monday.
“She was always there for people and now everyone is there for her,” explained Brooklyn Muhammad.READ MORE: Boosted Californians Getting COVID At Twice The Rate Of Those Vaccinated But Not Boosted
Muhammad shared photos she took of her friend Samia and said she will miss her smile the most.
“She was very beautiful physically and mentally, she always had a positive mindset no matter what happened,” she said.
Candles outside the church lit up balloons and messages left in honor of the sisters. One of their youngest friends, Estella, talked to CBS13 with her mom encouraging her to share about her friend, Samarah.
“I’m sad that she passed away, she was a really good friend,” Estella said. “If you were sad, she would be there for you even if you weren’t her friend. If you had nobody to play with, she would come ask you.”
Friends say these three sisters will never be forgotten.
“I still feel a little surprised about it and it’s going to be hard to get over,” explained Muhammad.
Church leaders, in a statement to CBS13, said they were shocked and saddened by the shooting, adding that all five people involved were members at the church.
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“Our church body is devastated and heartbroken by this senseless tragedy and we ask for continued prayer for the victims, their family and our faith community as we grapple with this unexpected loss and trust the Lord for His strength in our grief. We continue to cooperate with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in their investigation, are committed to ministering to anyone in need during this difficult time and are doing everything possible to provide comfort to our congregation as we come together as a church family.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family of the sisters to help with funeral expenses.