Mayci Marie Breaux was anticipating married life with her boyfriend, a new job at a Lafayette hospital and the birth of her third niece.
Instead, her family and hundreds more laid Breaux to rest in her hometown of Franklin on Monday, days after she and another woman were killed and nine others injured by a gunman in a Lafayette theater.
The Church of the Assumption on Main Street in Franklin was filled to capacity, with 450 to 500 mourners packing the seats and the aisles as the air conditioning struggled to cool the building on a sweltering July day.
“Today is raw and horrible,” said Anne Oestriecher, who is part of Breaux’s family.
After the funeral, a woman said “Mayci graduated with my daughter,” then put a tissue to her face, unable to complete the sentence. She walked off crying before she gave her name.
Many others leaving the church dabbed tissues and handkerchiefs to their faces and their red eyes, including her parents, Kevin and Dondie Breaux, and her sister, Ali. Also grieving were her brother, Dustin, and his wife, Daina, pregnant with the couple’s third daughter.
Breaux, 21, was killed Thursday night when a man from Alabama opened fire inside theater 14 at The Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette. Breaux and her boyfriend, Matthew Rodriguez, were among about 25 patrons who had settled in to watch the romantic comedy “Trainwreck.” About 20 minutes into the show, 59-year-old John Houser stood up and started shooting, using the last of the 15 or so .40-caliber bullets he fired to kill himself as police moved in.
Rodriguez, too, was hit but survived and attended the funeral Monday for the young woman he was to marry.
“We’re just so thankful that Matthew survived. They were planning to spend the rest of their lives together,” said Oestriecher, a cousin who was designated the Breaux family spokesman.
On Monday, two of the nine people injured remained in Lafayette hospitals, Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton said.
Breaux’s funeral service was officiated by the Rev. Lloyd Benoit.
A 2012 graduate of Hanson Memorial High School, Breaux was a student at LSU-Eunice studying radiologic technology. She was to begin work at Lafayette General Medical Center within a few weeks.
Oestriecher said Breaux lived in Lafayette but would head home on the weekends to hang around with her family, especially her sister, Ali.
The number of mourners who turned out for the funeral was matched by the number who attended the visitation Sunday, when more than 400 queued up to file into Ibert’s Mortuary. Oestriecher said people stood in the heat for hours before getting inside the mortuary, where Kevin and Dondie Breaux greeted them until 10 p.m.
“We had to close the doors,” she said. “The support of the community has been unbelievable.”