Dozens hold memorial for three sisters shot dead by their father at Arden Church – CBS Sacramento
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Through prayers and tears, dozens of community members and friends came together on Tuesday to remember three young girls who were tragically shot by their father at an area church. ‘Arden.
“We don’t always know why things happen, but the girls were really, really sweet,” said Brittney, who didn’t want her last name used.
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Brittney works at Bannon Creek Elementary where sisters Samantha, 10, and Samarah Mora Gutierrez, 9, went to school.
“I just can’t imagine the pain the mother is feeling because our staff and our community are feeling it,” Brittney explained.
Her daughter Aubrey filmed videos dancing with Samantha last Friday.
“She was always trusting, and if you felt anything, you could talk to her,” Aubrey said. “I didn’t think anyone would hurt them, especially their father.”
The two girls along with their older sister, 13-year-old Samia, were shot dead by their father during a supervised church visitation in Sacramento on Monday.
“She was always there for people and now everyone is there for her,” Brooklyn Muhammad explained.
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Muhammad shared photos she took of her friend Samia and said she would miss her smile the most.
“She was very beautiful physically and mentally, she always had a positive mindset no matter what,” she said.
Candles outside the church lit balloons and left messages honoring the sisters. One of their younger friends, Estella, spoke to CBS13 with her mother encouraging her to talk 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 no one to play with, she would come and ask you.
Friends say these three sisters will never be forgotten.
“I still feel a bit surprised about it and it’s going to be hard to get over it,” Muhammad explained.
Church leaders, in a statement to CBS13, said they were shocked and saddened by the shooting, adding that all five people involved were church members.
“Our church body is devastated and heartbroken by this senseless tragedy and we ask that we continue to pray for the victims, their families and our community of faith as we grapple with this unexpected loss and trust in the Lord to his strength in our grief. We continue to cooperate with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in their investigation, we are committed to serving anyone in need during this difficult time, and are doing all we can to bring comfort to our congregation while that we come together as a church family.
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A GoFundMe page has been set up for the sisters’ family to help with funeral costs.