Our Mortal Journey Is Over All Too Soon

by - July 19, 2010

After a really good weekend, this week has started on a depressing note, and it's the result of much more than just a lack of sleep.

I got to work and started reading through the stories from the weekend when I saw one that said "Early Co Shooting." That's where I'm from.

A teacher that worked in the room next to my mom shot his wife and two kids, one of which my mom taught, on Friday night before he shot himself. He was pronounced dead on the scene. His wife, also a teacher, was taken to the local hospital where she died. The two kids, a 14 and 11-year-old were taken to the hospital in Dothan. The 14-year-old boy died Saturday.

I knew this family. Not personally, but well enough. The original story just said that a family of four was shot on Friday and that the parents had died. I found the updated information on the Associated Press wire about the son dying and the father being the shooter. I cried while I was writing the updated version for the air. And then again when I reformatted it for the website.

This isn't something that's normal, and all I can do is wonder what happened to turn this loving father and husband into a person who would kill his own family and then himself.

In recent years my hometown has been repeatedly struck by tragedy. Not in a huge way like when the entire nation grieved over the World Trade Center, but in a much more personal way. It's a small community where everyone knows you by name. Everyone doesn't always get along, but as a whole the community sticks up for its own.

I can remember when crime and murder weren't a part of what I like to think of as small-town USA, but now it seems as if big-city "sins" are encroaching on what used to be the goodness of America. People say we're making progress, but what good is progress if it leads to more and more destruction? Sure, the big city isn't suffering but the small towns certainly are. Pretty soon small towns won't be small in anything but their size, and that's what I believe will be the ultimate downfall of society.

You May Also Like


  1. OMG, that's too sad. How's the 11-year-old doing?

  2. Health-wise, she's fine. Mentally, who knows. It's amazing the things children can overcome, but unfortunately she won't be allowed to really cope with it anytime soon. The police still haven't interviewed her about the events leading up to the shooting.

  3. I heard about this when I got back here a few days ago. It's sad, but, honestly, the most heinous of crimes are statistically more likely to happen in small communities. Urban areas just tend to have localized crimes in sections, but most major cases of familial murders or mass murders of any kind are typically in small towns. I guess it doesn't really surprise me that, before long, someone from Early County would snap. It's been under a lot of constant pressure, both economically and socially. I mean, cases like this happened everywhere during the Great Depression, and we are in the worst economic times since then.

    Not that I'm defending it, mind you. I'm just saying there's always a reason for everything, whether it's a good reason or not.

  4. I meant it as in the pressures (a.k.a. sins) of the big city coming into the small towns/communities.