‘Ryland is the only one left’: Boy, 5, is found clinging to life among the pews by his aunt after his mother and sisters were shot dead in front of him in Texas church massacre

Monday, November 6, 2017
By Paul Martin

Ryland Ward was shot four times when Devin Patrick Kelley burst in to the church
His mother Joann Ward and her daughters Brooke and Emily were shot dead
Devin Patrick Kelley murdered 26 at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs

6 November 2017

A five-year-old boy was found clinging to life among the pews by his aunt after his mother and sisters were shot dead in front of him in the Texas church massacre, it has emerged.

Ryland ward is undergoing emergency surgery after being shot in the arm, stomach and groin when Devin Patrick Kelley burst into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas and opened fire.

His mother Joann Ward, her daughters Brooke Ward, five, and Emily Garza, seven, are among the 26 people killed in the mass shooting. Their sister, nine-year-old Rihanna, had her glasses shot off her face but survived.

Last night, devastated relatives described the scene of horror inside the church.

Ryland’s aunt, Leslie Ward, told the New York Daily News she rushed to the church from her home after hearing shots.

She said: ‘I found my nephew in the front, in pain. It was bad. There was just dead bodies everywhere. It wasn’t what I wanted to see but at the time, I wasn’t worried about it. I was worried about finding my family.’

Leslie said Ryland was in a stable condition in hospital.

The youngster had been rushed to University Hospital in San Antonio where he had surgery, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The newspaper spoke to his uncle Michael Ward, who said he feared the worst for his nephew.

‘They got him all cut open, from the gunshots. I don’t think he’s going to make it,’ he said. Ryland’s counsin, McKinley, wept as she added: ‘Ryland is the only one left.’

Mr Ward said Ryland’s father, Chris, had run to the church without putting his shoes on after being told a shooting had taken place.

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