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Monday, July 28, 2008

Second Knoxville victim dies; gunman left 'manifesto.'

A second victim of yesterday's horrific church shootings in Knoxville has died. Linda Kraeger, a 61-year-old member of the Westside UU Church, died from injuries she received when Jim Adkisson apparently began firing a shotgun as a children's performance of "Annie Jr" was about to begin at the Tennessee Valley UU Church. An usher who confronted the gunman was the first victim.

Meanwhile, police are holding Adkisson on first-degree murder charges and have searched his home and car, where they found a multi-page "manifesto," according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. A neighbor told the paper that Adkisson had expressed anger at Christianity in the past, which, if it turns out that his attack was religiously-motivated, could add a bitter irony to the story: He picked the least representative of churches to atone for what he perceived as Christianity's sins. He had no known prior relationship with TVUUC.

Update: This just in: The gunman specifically targeted the UU congregation for its "liberal stance," according to the police chief, who described the contents of the four-page letter the gunman left behind.

Copyright © 2008 by Philocrites | Posted 28 July 2008 at 8:36 AM

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July 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Permalink for this comment

I really do hope this discovery of an ideological motive does not generate the typical type of UU discussion that I expect it might.

Let's hope the focus remains on the victims. We can be united in our compassion and prayer.


July 28, 2008 01:55 PM | Permalink for this comment

This is such a tragic and unwelcome reminder of the pain and brokenness in our sinful world. Our prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in Tennessee as they mourn in this time of loss. I pray that, though difficult, events like this will help unify the church in the hope of the Gospel.

I was thinking about this today and found that Christianity Today is offering a free resource called “Confronting Gun Violence.” I’ll include the link below for any of you who are interested. While we can never predict when an act of violence might occur, this download offers some precautionary measures churches can take to safeguard their people and facilities.

Again, my deepest sympathies go out to our friends in Knoxville and I pray that we can learn to prevent such tragedies in the days to come.

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