The multiple shooting in Glade Springs, Va., on Feb. 25 left four family members dead and one injured, but it is clear that it has left the entire region shell-shocked. In a Facebook discussion facilitated by the Knoxville Social Media Examiner on Feb. 26, people from around the region expressed the way the tragedy has impacted them. In talking to people in person today, it was apparent that people are just stunned by what has happened right here in our quiet, mountainous corner of the world.
The cities and towns around Glade Springs are certainly not without violent crime, but a massacre such as this is very jolting to any community. In an effort to describe how the heart-breaking situation has affected those of us in the region, the comments made during this discussion will be reprinted in their entirety with the permission of each individual.
Melissa Arnold: “Senseless. I keep wondering if the sheriffs office had done all they should have to keep them safe.”
Sherry Martin: After reading about the event ... I was sorta quesey and thought this could happen here so quickly ... everyone lives behind closed doors and we no longer know our neighbors like our parents did theirs. We no longer keep up with anyone's life unless it is family and even then family is scattered everywhere. I have no comment worth anything ... but I do believe we will see more and more of this because no one wants to deal with anyone being abused or the abuser and they do not want to be involved. Until everyone gets involved again ... there will be more and more ... even in the quite communities!!
Donna Schiano: Unfortunately, I believe someone who is intent on causing bodily harm to another cannot be stopped.....I think it goes back to treating the abuser.....and treating the mental illness that could cause a person to reach this level of insanity!
Mark Millwood: I am calling it a "looming sadness". Basically the combination of fear, disbelief, shock and ultimately an ache in our hearts for this family and community. God help us! Thank you for writing about it Barbie. Many people have told me their "hearts are heavy" for this family: those who have gone, those who remain. It’s just a tragedy altogether
Anthony Mangrum: It is so hard for me to grasp this happening, it is bad enough that he killed his wife and mother in law but how in the world do you look at your son and pull a trigger. An interview on the news this morning with a minister who had spoke with the shooter the day before and he stated that the shooter said he wanted his family together,that seems to stick out to me that in his mind he felt they could all be together as crazy as that sounds. Another concern, how many in this same situation presently are now even more afraid to get out of the situation they have seen a protection order really has no value other than ink and paper. In this country we walk a fine line, how can you determine someone's mental state without walking on their freedom. I would dare say in our lifetime we have all known a friend or family member that we feel could snap. How can we learn as a people from this tragedy how to make a safe intervention. Guns are not the problem, it is the mental state of some who have access to them. Just my thought ......
Becky Tillison: What good did the restraining order and protection order do?there are no words.This beautiful loving family is gone.The paper that was supposed to protect them,is still there.nothing more then a piece of paper.There are no word's. Rest in peace. You're safe in the arm's of GOD.
Ok, the local new's saying Mrs. Palmer had just went to the police Monday,informed them in more detail of the abuse she had endured for 8 yrs.Why was he not arrested then?This could have been prevented.Still they advise you to get a protection order,if you are being abused..Both families and so many in these small little town's are stunned..
Betty Necessary: I heard the same thing Becky-didn't understand why she couldn't get help--thought it was mandatory to arrest them for abuse. If I had been abused and kids also--I would have kept a gun handy everywhere I went--if he had come through door/window-he would be dead --the police would have records of complaints- and you can protect yourself--sad thing for it had to come to this
Lynn Hill Redman: I wonder what his family is feeling too. That family is hurting you know and I haven't heard anyone mention them. Not to lessen anything about the victims, just know that there is another family who has suffered great loss and tragedy as well. I think we often lose sight of the "other" family.
Jeanni Creed Jones: I haven't lived there in years but after reading this my heart breaks! How does a man get to the point of such rage to not only kill his estranged wife but his son. He tells a minister he wanted his family together. But such rage such wanting to control and if he couldn't he would make it happen his way. I feel for the man in the hospital. I wouldn't want to face that amount of loss. Also can you imagine what the shooter's mom feels besides loss but also probably asking herself how did her son do this get to this point. It is all such a words escape me! I am so sad, just want to comfort that man in the hospital but also the shooter's mom. How do you kill your own son?! How?
Lisa Chambers Hayter: You know the Bible tells us our lives are but a vapor, we lost 3 generations all at once in this tragedy. This has made me realize that our lives can be taken at any time and I need to make sure other people know how much I love them and how their eternity can be sure in Jesus Christ. Give him all of you and you will get all of Him.
All of these folks have shared their feelings about this tragedy from their hearts, and their candor is certainly appreciated. Social media does provide a wonderful gathering place to vent at times like this.