Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why I won't talk about the shooting

I know that the events of Friday were tragic, and ALL the people involved need our prayers. I do not want to minimize the tragedy in any way. I want to remind everyone at ATMS in 1992 of the events the day Tricia Mounce was killed. We were tragically changed from that day forward. Willis Gravely walked into the school and fatally stabbed a wonderful young girl. She was his ex-girlfriend and he was a few years older. We were traumatized. The last thing we wanted was our faces plastered on the local media channels. (I remember Cheryl flipping off the News2 camera man). We wanted to be left alone to heal with our school family and friends. We wanted our moms and dads to make it alright. We wanted to go to school and not live in fear that a crazed individual would show up and kill someone.

I don't remember all of the details leading up to the killing, but I seem to remember that the school knew he was a threat and the administration (Ms. Smitherman and Mr. Upchurch) moved Tricia into ISS or the office so she could be securely monitored. They thought he was no longer a threat and moved her back into her regular classroom. Unfortunately, they were wrong. He came into the school, walked into Ms. Pugh's class, and stabbed Tricia. He then left the school and called the police on himself.

From what I understand he died of cancer while in prison, and I do not mourn his death. I am not glad when anyone dies, but I am not mournful of his. I mourn the innocent lives lost Friday in Connecticut, just as I mourn the lives lost at Columbine, and the movie theater in Colorado, Virginia Tech and every other public or school shooting in my lifetime. I mourn the loss of innocent lives from drunk drivers, stupidity, and evil. I do, however, want to give the families and friends room to grieve without me compounding that grief by constantly putting the faces of the lost lives on my Facebook page, supporting the news stories and sensationalism, or by asking how they feel. I know how they feel. They are traumatized, they are heartbroken, and they are mourning the loss of friends and family members. I choose to leave them to grieve in peace and pray for their peace and comfort in Christ.


  1. Honey, You just brought tears to my eyes. I believe that no one ever gets over something as tragic as this was. I remember being in court with Tricia a few days before her death, I believe that was the last time i seen her smile. I still haunts me as i am sure it haunts all of us. And Yes, I totally agree with you. These family's and friends need to grieve for as long as needed, They do not need to have their tears spread all over the media. I understand that strangers are also mourning the death of these small children, But we all need to remember that we need to give them their privacy.Thank you for posting this Marie. It meant alot to me and im sure it will to others that were there the day that Tricia passed. R.I.P My friend. Patricia Mounce 1977-1992 <3

  2. Thank you Lisa for your kind words. No one in the media seems to understand this. I was afraid to post it. I didn't know if others felt the way that I do. It seems from Facebook comments and your comment, that I am not alone.

  3. Not even close to being alone! That day was so fast it felt like nothing slowed down.

  4. Karrie,
    Didn't you come home with us that day? I was thinking it was you, Cheryl, Tammy Edwards, and me. It's funny how things bring people together in times like that. Thank you for supporting me in my feelings on the media in these cases.