Couple from Michigan among Texas church shooting victims

Posted at 8:34 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-06 22:49:33-05

HARRISON, Mich. -- As the identities of the victims in Sunday's mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas come out, FOX 17 has learned that a husband and wife from Michigan were among those killed.

Robert and Shani Corrigan were from Clare County.  At about 2 a.m. Monday, Robert's mother got the call that her son and his wife were killed during the middle of their Sunday morning church service.

Robert and Shani were high school sweethearts.  They graduated in May 1985 and married within a month. For 32 years, their marriage took them across the country for Robert's Air Force career.

"Truly a local hero in my opinion, and his family runs deep here and it's a community loss, for sure," said Renee Haley, director of Veterans Services in Clare County.

Shani had three boys, two of whom are following in their dad's footsteps and serving in the military.  The other passed away just last year.

As the family continues to feel that loss, they're now left to grieve two more people who were known for their love for each other and dedication to their faith.

Robert loved music and played guitar in the church's band and led the church's music ministry.  His mother has been working with local veterans services to make arrangements for their memorial.  She tells them this tragedy hasn't shaken her faith.

“Her faith is never wavered and she said, you know a lot of people may never understand that, but her God is a good God and she’s never gonna back down from that," said Haley. "And I really admire her strength and her faith. Even after the tragedy of losing her son and daughter-in-law, that she still believes and her faith is strong.”

As officials continue to investigate the attack at  First Baptist Church that left 26 people dead, those who know the Corrigans say this tragedy won't break the strength of a family who lived to serve and love others.

“I would say that you cannot be afraid to live," Haley said. "That’s the reason that we live in the country that we do- is the ability to have the freedom to come and go as we choose. And that if we stop doing that, then we’ve stopped what we fought this country for.”

Robert and Shani moved to Texas when Robert retired from the service because, according to their family, it's where they made some of their happiest memories.  The Corrigan family says they will likely have two funeral services for Robert and Shani, one in Texas and another in Michigan.