PONDER, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Near the playground in Ponder’s Remington Park neighborhood, four crosses stand in memory of the four innocent lives lost several blocks away.
Three of the victims shot and killed Wednesday morning were young children who called this community home.
Investigators say their father shot and killed them, injured their mother, Amanda Simpson, and murdered her new boyfriend, before turning the gun on himself.
“It was heartbreaking. I cried. Everybody cried,” said Kira Benner, a neighbor who made the crosses and organized a gathering for those living nearby and spent the day watching the day’s news unfold from their own front yards.
“It’s so surreal when you’re at your house and you can hear the helicopters,” she said.
Neighbors took time to pray and lit candles to remember those who lost their lives.
A small collection of flowers and toys began to emerge as a memorial around the wooden crosses.
“When it happens in your hometown, it’s frightful,” said Alex Avigliano, a neighbor who came with his wife and two daughters.
Coming together, people told CBS11, served as a reminder they weren’t alone.
“We wanted to show our gratitude and love ‘cause it’s a hard time,” said Avigliano.
“We’re a small community and when something happens it hits us all,” said Michelle Joplin.
Those who attended the vigil say they might be strangers, but they want to support Simpson in her time of grief.
Joplin said she also brought her daughter to set an example on compassion.
“To show my daughter this is what we do,” she said.