Richmond community members leaning on the power of prayer after shooting incident

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RICHMOND, Ind. – School officials in Richmond have decided to cancel classes tomorrow at Dennis Intermediate because of Thursday’s shooting incident, where a 14-year-old boy broke into the school and took his own life after being confronted by police.

Indiana State Police said the mother of the shooting suspect made the initial 911 call that alerted authorities of the imminent danger.

The community is coming together to move past this incident, and some are offering support to the shooting suspect’s mother.

“We want people to understand we are here, and we want to be a beacon of hope for people in this community,” Wesleyan Church Campus Pastor Ryan VanMatre said.

Wesleyan church opened its doors so people could come pray together. “It helps us walk through those dark  times and worship is the same. It shows us it’s not always about us, and it’s about God, who is greater than we are,” Pastor VanMatre said.

At the same time many gathered at Glenn Miller Park for a candlelight vigil.

Peopled prayed for healing, remembered the 14-year-old’s life, and offered support to his mother, who was present.

Angela Britto brought her daughter Christy to the vigil.

Christy is a 7th grader at Dennis Intermediate and was there the morning of the shooting. “Just to show my support for the mom really, you know,” Angela Britto said. “She doesn’t need to be shunned in any of this honestly. It’s her that made the phone call to let us all know, because without that phone call and anybody acting the way they did you know it could’ve turned out a lot differently.”

Britto’s heart breaks for the shooting suspect’s mom. “My heart does go out to her because I honestly don’t know what I would do if I was in her shoes. If I would’ve done the same thing she did. You know it has to be hard,” Britto said.

The Richmond community is going to lean on one another to move past this tragedy, but it’s going to take one step at a time. “Our church and many other churches in the community are here for them. We want them to know the love of Jesus, that’s our hope,” Pastor VanMatre said.

All other RCS schools will be open tomorrow with extra law enforcement present.

The district is still deciding whether or not to have school on Tuesday at the intermediate school before they let out for the winter break on Wednesday.

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