Seven people died and seven others were injured Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a prayer meeting at Wedgwood Baptist Church in southwest Fort Worth. Three people were released from local hospitals Wednesday and Thursday. As of late Thursday, four people remained in the hospital.
How to help
Students are encouraged to give blood at these nearby Carter BloodCare centers:
Donations for the families of the Wedgwood Baptist Church shooting victims can be directed to any Bank One branch in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The account number for the Wedgwood Victim's Memorial Fund is 1575241896.
"It's not that it happened in a church that makes a difference or (makes it) worse but that a church is a symbol of our sense of order in the world," she said. "And we're going to have to come to some kind of terms with an attack on that symbol."
Claudia Camp, religion professor
"It makes you reflect a little bit on life," he said. "Take every step and every day and be glad you have it because you never know what's going to happen. Basically just stay focused on life and keep the Lord first."
Cedric Allen, senior history major
By Jessica Schambach
and Jamie Zwilling
Flags were lowered to half-mast.
The Robert Carr Chapel was opened Thursday night for prayer.
And Delta Gamma members planned a public gathering for 7 a.m. Friday at the flagpole in front of Sadler Hall to remember TCU alumna Kim Jones and other victims of the Wedgwood Baptist Church shooting.
It was a tragedy that happened just miles away, and its implications are being felt campus-wide.
John Pasquale, a senior instrumental music education major who teaches music at a school near the church, said Mary Beth Talley, a victim in the shooting, was one of his students.
"It hit pretty hard," he said. "There are some sick people out there. First there was Columbine, then there was Georgia. Now there's Fort Worth. It's kind of freaky when you think about it."
At least two TCU students from Littleton, Colo., said they experienced a repeat of events as news broadcasts interrupted Wednesday evening's programming.
"Just the thought that (a random shooting) is happening again so close to home is frightening," said freshman nursing major Melissa Crane, as she struggled to fight back emotions.
Crane graduated from Arapahoe High School in Littleton and saw April's shootings at Columbine High School bring an entire community together. She said she believes the same will happen in Fort Worth.
After seeing the news reports, Ryan Eloe, a freshman advertising/public relations major from Littleton, said he was reminded of his community trying to cope.
"I thought it was sick because I could see what the results of this tragedy will be for the community," he said.
Eloe said the incident will have a large effect on all members of the community.
"Tragedies like the incidents at Columbine and Wedgwood Baptist Church make people sensitive and alert about how people feel," he said. "They cause people to temporarily establish new priorities."
Brooke Woods, a freshman premajor, said the Wedgwood tragedy stands apart because, unlike other recent mass shootings, it occurred in a place that most consider a haven.
"I think it's pretty sad when you can't even go to church without having to worry that somebody is going to come hurt you," she said.
But Claudia Camp, a religion professor, said the shooting was no different than other mass shootings.
"It's not that it happened in a church that makes a difference or (that makes it) worse but that a church is a symbol of our sense of order in the world," she said. "And we're going to have to come to some kind of terms with an attack on that symbol."
The shooting is a reminder that violence can occur anywhere, said Daryl D. Schmidt, chairman of the religion department.
"Church is a building where people gather and is not exempt from any other kinds of societal events and happenings," he said.
Braden Barnes, a freshman pre-law major, said it's hard for him to think that something so tragic can happen so close to home.
"Usually you kind of distance yourself and think it happens in other towns," he said. "But I still feel pretty safe. It really bothered me a lot, but I'm not too worried about it. It's just kind of the way the world is nowadays."
Marianne Graham, a senior speech communications major and chairwoman of Students Reaching Out, a community outreach organization, said the violence does not seem to stop.
"You'd think after one tragedy that people could look at it and learn from it, but instead people are looking at it as an example and using it as a means to further violence," she said.
Crane said people must pull strength from each other to remain strong, as her community did in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy.
"It was important that we went back to school because it showed that we were not scared," she said. "You can't be scared."
Eloe said he hopes that people will be able to learn from these experiences.
"People need to realize across the United States that these incidents are real," he said. "You don't understand it until it happens in your community.
Cedric Allen, a senior history major, said he thinks the shooting served as a wake-up call for the United States.
"It's really sad that it happened in a church, but it just tells you right now that we need to get focused as a nation."
He said his prayers go out to the victims and their families.
"It makes you reflect a little bit on life," he said. "Take every step and every day, and be glad you have it because you never know what's going to happen. Basically just stay focused on life and keep the Lord first."
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