The victim of a horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs would have turned 17 years old on Monday, a bittersweet day for many who came together to celebrate Haley Krueger’s birthday.
Family and friends gathered at First Baptist Church to celebrate her life.
"She loved the church so much and she lost her life here, so I figured it was the best place to honor her and the closest to the Lord," Haley’s mother Charlene Uhl said.
Haley’s mother served nachos, pizza, and Dr. Pepper.
“They are her absolute favorite," Uhl said.
Many also wore a shirt with a Bible verse Uhl says describes her daughter’s strong faith in God.
“Be strong and courageous for the Lord will be with you wherever you go.”
A victim of the mass shooting shared a prayer and many exchanged precious memories they hold close to their heart.
"We call her her ‘haybug,’" Uhl said.
"I was having a bad day and she would just come up to me and she would just smile, and that whole smile brightened my day," Kendall Simmons said.
In unison, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to Haley and released balloons in her honor.
“It’s kind of bittersweet because everybody is here to celebrate her [birthday] but she’s not here on Earth to celebrate it,” Haley’s mom said.
Uhl says that the loss of her daughters has taken a financial toll on the family. They’ve set up a GoFundMe account seeking donations.