Framework

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Raw emotions are bubbling to the surface on the Tule River Indian Reservation near Porterville, Calif., where Hector Celaya,31, killed four members of his family. Celaya, who also wounded two of his children, was later shot by police in nearby Lindsay.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

A small roadside memorial pays silent tribute next to the home on the Tule River Indian Reservation near Porterville, Calif., where Hector Celaya, 31, killed four members of his family. Celaya, who also wounded two of his children, was later shot by police in the nearby town of Lindsay.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Candles, prayers and hugs lead the healing process at the Church On the Hill on the Tule River Indian Reservation near Porterville, Calif,, during a candlelight vigil several days after Hector Celaya, 31, killed four members of his family in a home on the reservation. Celaya, who was not a tribal member, also wounded two of his children and was later killed by police.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Candles, prayers and hugs lead the healing process at the Church On the Hill on the Tule River Indian Reservation near Porterville, Calif. during a candlelight vigil several days after Hector Celaya, 31, killed four members of his family in a home on the reservation. Celaya, who was not a tribal member, also wounded two of his children.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Church leader Nathan Burt leads one of the prayers at the Church On the Hill.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Families draw near to each other during a candlelight service at the Church On the Hill on Dec. 11.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

With smoke from burning sage wafting into the night air, tribal members gather in a circle at the Church On the Hill for a vigil in honor of the victims.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Tribal council member Kevin Bonds holds a bundle of burning sage while taking part in the candlelight vigil.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

With a star-filled sky above him, tribal community service Officer Mike Carrillo stands on a hilltop above the Tule River Indian Reservation, where he often takes refuge.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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Mourning at the Tule River Indian Reservation

This is a sovereign land of otherworldly beauty. Mist spills down a valley that winds from the Giant Sequoias to the elderberry and oak of the Sierra foothills. Stars in a black night sky seem as close as the candles that have been lighted in vigil during this tribe’s darkest moment

For nearly two weeks, Yokut tribal members have been coming to the Church on the Hill, lighting candles. The gatherings began spontaneously Dec. 8, the night Hector Celaya, 31, killed his mother and two uncles, critically wounded Andrew, his 6-year-old son, and sped off in a Jeep with his two daughters, Alyssa, 8 and Linea, 5.

Since 1933, the bells of the reservation’s oldest church have rung out whenever a community member passed. The day after the attack, the bells tolled all day.

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