Co-workers mourn loss of ‘MacGyver’ and his daughter in church shooting


Marc Holcombe, was killed alongside his daughter and additional family members Sunday.

His sister-in-law Crystal, who was pregnant, also didn’t make it.

Benefits of working for F&W Electrical, according to a roadside posting on US 181, include paid vacation and holidays, health insurance and retirement.

Stop inside and apply.

Candidates for the mechanic position will be replacing a star who died tragically this weekend. Marc Holcombe, who was killed alongside his infant daughter and additional family members Sunday in a shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, went by Danny. But co-workers called him MacGyver since he came up with a solution for whatever problem popped up in the shop. He was the first to arrive — unlocking the door and starting the coffee — and often the last to leave. He often worked on days off, dabbling in weekend side projects for the past 15 years.

“He could create or fix anything,” F&W’s human resources manager, Jennifer Kincaid, said Tuesday. “He was very handy.”

Holcombe, 36, is among more than two dozen churchgoers who authorities say died when 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley indiscriminately opened fire inside of First Baptist Church. Nine of the 26 people killed are members of the Holcombe family, a death count that crosses three generations. Danny’s daughter, 18-month-old Noah, died. So did his parents, Bryan, the church’s associate pastor, and Karla. Danny’s wife, Jenni, survived with minor injuries.

His sister-in-law, Crystal, who was pregnant, didn’t make it. Authorities count her unborn child among the dead. Three of Crystal’s kids also died.

RELATED: As shooter’s past emerges, lawmakers push to boost background checks

In a brief phone interview Tuesday, Danny’s grandmother, Claryce Holcombe, called him “a wonderful grandson” who “would help with anything we needed.” She said Danny’s wife Jenni left the state after the shooting.

“And I don’t imagine she’ll ever live out here again,” she said.

Authorities say Kelley entered the church dressed in black and unloaded more than 15 magazines, injuring just about all of the 50-plus people inside. Authorities believe Kelley died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, one of three gunshot wounds he sustained. The other two — to the leg and the torso — came in a firefight with a community member shortly after the massacre.

Authorities believe the attack was motivated by a dispute Kelley had with his wife’s family, but declined Tuesday morning to address specific details about the friction. Additional answers might be contained in Kelley’s cell phone, but investigators are having a difficult time cracking into it.

RELATED: Sutherland Springs survivors struggle to pick up pieces after massacre

Meanwhile, 20 minutes away, folks at F&W Electrical found comfort in each other. A chaplain dropped by for support. Two mechanics who worked alongside Danny — one who was in his wedding — went out on assignment, welcoming a distraction from the mourning. Kincaid thumbed through her text message conversations with Danny.

Kincaid said Danny was a proud father who often pulled out his phone to show co-workers the latest video of Noah walking or talking. She had blue eyes and blonde hair. Her dad was a redhead.

Noah liked to visit her dad at his office, stopping by on Thursdays with Jenni to bring him lunch. She memorized the office contour, learned workers’ names, and recently planted a kiss on one of the men.

Danny and Jenni had a difficult time getting pregnant, Kincaid said. Noah was their blessing.

Kincaid said Danny stopped her as she was driving home last Friday. Her fog light was out, he said.

MacGyver said he’d fix it Monday.

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