Benny's World

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Peace to the Tenn Valley UU Church

Today I saw some reports about a fatal shooting in a church in TN. But on clicking a Yahoo link about a second fatality, I had to look further.

It happened at the Tenn Valley UU church in Knoxville. Details are still sketchy, but apparently:

A gunman opened fire at a church youth performance Sunday and killed two people, including a man who witnesses called a hero for shielding others from a shotgun blast.

Seven adults were also injured but no children were harmed at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Church members said they dove under pews or ran from the building when the shooting started.

The gunman was tackled by congregants and eventually taken into police custody.

It was said that the gunman shouted hateful things, but no one has quite elaborated what those were. All of this happened during a youth service of Annie, which was likely the lay service since the minister was out of town. Tragic if the gunman was playing on the idea of "Annie, Get Your Gun" and trying to hurt those who are for social justice.

UUA President Rev. William G. Sinkford said that "Members of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry are on their way to Knoxville to offer additional ministry to the congregation as it grieves. And Unitarian Universalists around the world are sending love and prayers to the Tennessee Valley congregation to tell them they are not alone on this dark day."

Yep, I am one of them.

Tomorrow night the Knoxville Second Presbyterian Church (close by) is offering a space with light food and counselors to debrief as well as offer crisis intervention. There will be a candlelight ceremony at 7:30 ET.

Prayers for Greg McKendry, an longtime usher and greeter who took the bullet between the gunman, the children, and the congregation, and for Linda Kreager, another victim. My heart is heavy for their families and for the congregation.

More about this from Elrod at the Daily Kos.

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  • I think the performance of Annie was as in LIttle Orphan Annie not Annie Get Your Gun. Apparently the man's foster son was in the performance and he jumped between his son and the gunman.

    This particular congregation sounded extremely brave. They wrestled the guy to the ground.

    By Blogger Chancelucky, at 9:23 PM  

  • CL, you are right that I got my plays confused.

    The congregation reminded me of Todd Beamer and Jeremy Glick on United Flight 93 when they decided to take on the terrorists. The UU's decided immediately, "Let's Roll".

    By Blogger benny06, at 6:05 AM  

  • I posted on the incident too. I still think it's interesting, it always seems to be the people without guns who take on the gun man. All those NRA types who claim to be ready to defend us never show up at these things.

    By Blogger Chancelucky, at 12:14 PM  

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