Sutherland Springs pastor speaks after losing teen daughter to church shooting

The Baptist pastor who lost his teenage daughter in a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5 has finally spoken to the media about the tragedy and urged people who shared the same pain to lean on God.

(REUTERS / Rick Wilking)Pastor Frank Pomeroy, with his wife Sherri, listens at a news conference outside the site of the shooting at his church, the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2017.

Just a day after the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Rev. Frank Pomeroy and his wife addressed the media briefly and talked about the tragedy despite their tears. The couple's 14-year-old daughter Annabelle was one of the 26 worshippers killed by the gunman on Sunday, The Washington Post detailed.

The Pomeroys were traveling and were not present when Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire at their congregation on Sunday. In response to requests to talk about Annabelle in the wake of the tragedy, Sherri read a statement that said they do not want their daughter's death to overshadow other people's loss.

"We were a very close family. We ate together. We laughed together. We cried together. And we worshiped together," Sherri said of their small flock. "Now most of our church family is gone. Our building is probably beyond repair. And the few of us left behind lost tragically yesterday."

Pastor Pomeroy, on the other hand, admitted that he did not know how to make sense of the tragedy. Nevertheless, he encouraged his congregation to trust God through every circumstance in life.

"I don't understand, but I know my God does," Rev. Pomeroy said. "Whatever life brings to you, lean on the Lord rather than your own understanding."

Meanwhile, ABC News cited an El Paso Police Department report that said Kelley had escaped from Peak Behavioral Health Services mental institution in New Mexico in 2012. A witness said the Air Force veteran and Texas shooting suspect had mental disorders and was trying to "carry out death threats" he made to other military officers.

Peak Behavioral Health, on the other hand, issued a statement that said it never discusses any information about its patients. The mental hospital said it abides with federal and state law governing patient confidentiality.