Pasco deputies to increase patrols near churches after deadly Texas shooting

Law enforcement officers man a barricade near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs after a fatal shooting, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – After news of the deadly shooting rampage at a Texas church broke, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office made the decision to beef up patrols at places of worship around the county.

Spokeswoman Amy Marinec says there has been no threat and the move is merely a proactive one.

“We just want to reassure everybody that the community is safe, we are there, we are approachable,” said Marinec. “We’d like you to engage with our deputies.”

Pastor Andre Erasmus of the Trinity Crosspoint Church is helping his congregation cope with the tragedy in Texas.

“In a small church like that and like ours here, it’s not just parishioners, it’s family. And that’s heartbreaking,” said Erasmus. “26 of your family, 26 of your family taken away at the same time. It’s so heartbreaking.”

The church held its regular men’s bible study on Monday night and opened with a prayer.

Pastor Erasmus is thankful that deputies will be out offering support and keeping a watchful eye, just in case.

“You know, just the presence of a patrol car makes a big difference,” he said.

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