SUTHERLAND SPRINGS - Twenty-six crosses.

There are 26 white crosses on a grassy corner blocks from the First Baptist Church, the church where Rod and Judy Green said their marriage vows in 2006.

On Tuesday evening, the couple attempted to reckon their memories with a new reality: the crosses represented the 26 friends, their church family, killed Sunday by Devin P. Kelley, who carried a rifle and a history of violence, the son-in-law of a member of the congregation.

“My heart was pouring this morning,” said Judy Green of her pain.

They had just added flowers to the multitudes strewn underneath the crosses.

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Media: San Antonio Express-News

Ever since they heard the news, the world had felt like it was moving in “slow motion,” Green said. She shivered and huddled closer to her husband, both cold from the arriving norther and shaken by the shooting that terrorized her community. Green has lived in the area since she was 10.

“They’re just family. We don’t think any other way about each other,” Rod Green said.

Judy Green rubbed her husband’s hand, which rested on her shoulder.

“This was so devastating. It’s overwhelming,” she said.

Just as many others had in Sutherland Springs, they saw the gunman at the church’s fall festival on Halloween night. Judy Green worked at a table that gave kids a toy in exchange for candy. Now, she can’t get him out of her head.

“The shooter was very evil. And I cannot forget his face, and I want to,” she said.

Just the Tuesday before, the two had seen Devin Kelley, the gunman, at the church’s Fall Fest. He was dressed all in black, “walking around like a zombie,” Rod Green said.

They had known there was something off about him. Green considered Kelley evil and demented — “he thought he was a hot-shot, a badass, always armed. He talked tough.” So when he saw Kelley outside the hay bale ride he was operating, he wondered, nervously, if Kelley had a gun.

After the shooting, he helped authorities identify bodies. He’s a Vietnam veteran and was a law-enforcement officer in Montana but has seen “nothing like this,” he said. “I never had to do something like this.”

Green said he feels for Kelley’s family, the Shields, and hopes they don’t take everything too hard.

The couple has been volunteering at the church’s food bank every Friday for years. On Wednesday they headed to San Antonio to pick up food. They’ve decided that this week won’t be any different.

“God does not let me live for nothing,” Rod Green said. “We will make something good out of this.”

sfoster-frau@express-news.net