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Tomball community rallies around Collins family after quintuple murder

Police say Mark Collins and his four grandsons were killed by an escaped convict on the family's property in Centerville.

TOMBALL, Texas — It continues to be a difficult time for many in Tomball as people mourn the loss of four boys and their grandfather.

Police say all of them were killed by an escaped convict at their weekend property in Centerville, Texas.

Editor's note: The above video is from our related coverage of this story.

Gonzalo Lopez, the escaped inmate, was later killed in a shootout with law enforcement south of San Antonio some three weeks after his escape.

RELATED: Escaped convicted killer Gonzalo Lopez dead after shootout with officers south of San Antonio, TDCJ says

"The next few days are going to be tough on all of us,” said a family friend.

The city is embracing the Collins family in their greatest time of need.

From a little restaurant called The Nook which donated Saturday's proceeds to the family to a GoFundMe page which quickly raised in excess of $200,000 to help with, among other things, funeral expenses.

"It’s tragic, it’s heartbreaking," said shop owner Madison Heald.  "And my heart goes out to the family and the friends that are having to go through all of this.”

Her shop, Vickie B’s Boutique On Main, helped spread the word about the fundraiser.

Employee Madeline McFarland knew 18-year-old Waylon Collins who died alongside his two brothers, a cousin and their grandfather.

"It was unbelievable when I read it," said McFarland.  "I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and reading.”

RELATED: 'We are devastated': Five family members, including 4 Tomball ISD students, murdered near Centerville

She’s still a student at Tomball High School from where Waylon just graduated.

He was also an umpire for Tomball Little League, which held a moment of silence in his honor featuring a framed umpire shirt and the type of baseball cap Waylon often wore.

"He was the type of guy that was friends with everybody," said McFarland.  "Everybody knew him."  

"He was a sweet soul.”

No one can truly comprehend what Waylon’s parents are going through having lost all of their children, a parent and a nephew.

But the community that retains a small-town feel despite rapid growth will remain intensely supportive.

"You know, just keep praying for the family,” said Heald.

Authorities still have not released details on how the murders in Centerville unfolded.

But friends say Mark Collins would have never taken his grandson up there if he’d known there was still such an imminent threat.

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