McGregor church hosts memorial service to honor victims killed in shooting spree one year ago

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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McGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) - A memorial was held Friday evening at the Bethlehem Christian Church to honor the lives of the McGregor shooting victims a year after a devastating shooting spree in the small Central Texas community.

Family and friends said they were shaken by the shooting, and it’s hard to believe that such a tragic event happened a year ago. They says their faith is keeping them strong.

On Sept. 29, 2022, Nicolas Jaimes Hernandez fatally shot his wife, Monica Delgado Aviles, 38, and two of her children: 15-year-old Miguel Avila and 14-year-old Natalie Avila

There were also two additional victims from a home nearby found dead once authorities arrived at the scene: Lori Aviles, 47, and her daughter, Natalie Aviles, 20.

Lori’s sister and Natalie’s aunt, Olivia Perez said she was a loss for words when she heard about the shooting.

“It was unbelievable. I thought, ‘This has to be a mistake. Someone is going to call me and say it didn’t happen,’” said Perez.

Friday night, the McGregor community packed the pews at the Bethlehem Christian Church to honor both of their lives.

Everyone described the two as beautiful souls.

“She was fierce, she was straight forward, she was a leader, she was kind. Natalie was the actual twin of Lori,” said Perez.

Perez said that birthdays and holidays won’t be the same, but the family’s faith keeps them moving forward.

“We’re really founded in Christ, which gives us strength. It’s moments like these where he really shows his strength through us,” said Perez.

Lori leaves behind two sons…one McGregor high senior and graduate, Zion and Ezra.

The community reminds the two that they are loved by their family members, church, school community and the public.

The family said comfort comes knowing a sea of support has their back.

“Everyone, even the strangers that gave us a hug and let us know they’re praying for us. That’s what we really want to say tonight. Not only to remember them but to give everyone sincere thanks,” said Perez.

Natalie was in nursing school at Temple College.

The university planted a tree in her honor and made a nursing scholarship in her name.