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Community members in Leon County, Texas, came together for a vigil in remembrance of a grandfather and four boys who were allegedly killed by escaped prison inmate Gonzalo Lopez.
The grandfather, Mark Collins, 66, and four boys, Waylon Collins, 18; Carson Collins, 16; Hudson Collins, 11; and Bryson Collins, 11, were found dead on Thursday, according to FOX 26 Houston.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials said that officers received a call a relative who were concerned after they didn’t hear from the elder relative.
The four boys were students within the Tomball Independent School District, which sent a letter to families after the kids were identified.
TEXAS GRANDFATHER, 4 BOYS KILLED AMID GONZALO LOPEZ MANHUNT IDENTIFIED
“The lives of four Tomball SD students and their grandfather were taken from us on Thursday by the escaped Texas fugitive near Centerville,” the letter states. “The loss of a student, for any reason, is heartbreaking, but to lose four in such a tragic way is excruciating, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these beloved students and grandfather.”
Community members hosted a vigil at Tomball High School on Friday in honor of the five people found dead, according to ABC 6.
David Crane, a family friend, said that the kids were “bright, shining stars,” adding that the incident is “unspeakable.”
ESCAPED MURDERER GONZALO LOPEZ LOCATED, KILLED FOLLOWING 3-WEEK MANHUNT IN TEXAS
Steve Bezner, a pastor at the family’s church, said that Hudson Collins, 11, was just baptized in the past week, according to the report.
“They’re incredibly active in the community, very well-known here, very well-beloved here,” Bezner said. “The outpouring of support from the community is not simply in response to the tragedy, but actually in response to the fact that they are just loved people.”
“I was honored to sit with the family last night and this morning again for several hours and the characteristic that continued to jump out was unrelenting faith,” Bezner added. “They did not understand — why none of us can understand why. But they continue to say we trust that God is good. And we know that he is with us in the midst of these circumstances.”
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Lopez was killed in a shootout with police officers after being spotted in a stolen pickup truck that he was believed to be driving.
Fox News’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.