Campbell Co. recalls 2005 school shooting

11:49 PM, Dec 14, 2012   |    comments
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The scenes from the Connecticut school shooting Friday brought up memories of a tragic event that hits so close to us in East Tennessee.

On November 8, 2005, then 14-year-old Kenneth Bartley was accused in a shooting at Campbell County High School that killed Vice Principal Ken Bruce and injured principal Gary Seale and assistant principal Jim Pierce.

"Planning a party when my mom gets a call that the school is on lockdown," recalled Campbell County High School alumna Brittany Wright. Her 16th birthday was the same day as the shooting.

She was not that day when the gunfire took place, but recalled the moments, hours, and days that followed for her, and all of Campbell County.

She said it's what the people of Newtown will go through too.

"You have to stick together, give support. Telling somebody your sorry- it's not going to help, but it's letting them know you're there," she added.

People at the nearby Hollingsworth Meat Market also remembered that fateful fall day.

Employee Brandon Marlow, was not yet a student at the high school, but recalls in small communities like Lafollette, nearly everyone knows each other, and that made the coping easier to handle.

"You have a friend to lean on and talk to about this," Marlow said. "Helps you take some weight off your shoulders, and helps you get through things."

Lafollette donut shop owner Ralph Doyle said when tragedy hits these small towns, people turn to a higher power.

"Probably church- everybody goes to church. People get through it with their faith. They talk through it, it's hard, very hard," he said.

Everyone we spoke with tonight said even though they're hundreds of miles away, they still teared up when hearing the number of fatalities in Connecticut.

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