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Police: Ala. spree killer kept grudge lists

SAMSON, Ala. (BP)–The man who killed 10 people in Alabama March 11 kept lists of people who had wronged him.

Michael McLendon, 28, murdered his mother at their home in Kinston, Ala., about 3:30 in the afternoon, then drove 10 miles to Samson, Ala., where he killed another nine people — four of them his own relatives. McLendon killed himself after a car chase and gunfight with police in nearby Geneva, Ala.

Police officers investigating the crime spree found three lists in McLendon’s bedroom –- lists of people he believed had wronged him, according to the Reuters news service. None of the people on the lists, however, were among his victims.

First Baptist Church in Samson hosted a prayer service that evening for the community of 2,100 people. Steve Sellers, church relations manager at Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & and Family Ministries, prayed for the several hundred people in attendance.

“I want to thank you, Lord, that in the coming days that this community walks through that process of healing, that there is a God who carries them through that valley,” Sellers said, according to a report from CNN.

“I don’t know what set a young man off like that, but I, too, want to pray for his family,” Sellers added. “We also come, knowing Lord, you taught us to forgive those who trespass against us.”

Two Alabama Baptist counselors provided their services to Samson residents March 11 as well. Alisha Lewis, a professional counselor and wife of First Baptist’s music minister Wade Lewis, and Kim McGainey, regional director for the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home, counseled children, teens and adults. They also offered assistance to the principal of the local high school.

Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, noted, “My prayers along with those of many Alabama Baptists are lifted on behalf of the families and friends of those slain in Geneva County. We pray that God will bring a strong and certain sense of comfort to those who have experienced these unspeakable tragedies. We pray also for those many Christians in Geneva County who are ministering to all affected and are grateful for their efforts.”

Samson resident Josh Mathews was out driving while the rampage was going on. He later learned a friend was one of McLendon’s victims.

“Could’ve been anyone — just missed the gunfire, could’ve been any of us,” Mathews told CNN. While it will be hard to move on, “you have to,” he said. “[His friend] was like the happiest dude in the world. He would’ve wanted us to move on and remember him for who he was.”

Three of the family members McLendon killed were on the porch at his uncle’s house in Samson. The victims included his uncle, James Alford White, 55; his cousin, Tracy Michelle Wise, 34; and her son, Dean James Wise, 15. McLendon killed his grandmother, Virginia E. White, 74, when she heard the shots and came to the door of her mobile home next to the uncle’s house.

Also killed on the porch was Andrea D. Myers, 31, a neighbor who had crossed the street to chat with the family, and her 18-month-old daughter, Corinne Gracy Myers. Another daughter, 3-month-old Ella, was wounded in the leg and a 4-year-old son was found hiding in the Myers’ home after the shooting. Andrea Myers was the wife of a sheriff’s deputy who was helping pursue McLendon and had no idea his wife and daughter had been killed.

When McLendon murdered his mother in Kinston, he also apparently killed her four dogs before setting the house on fire, according to news reports.
Compiled by Baptist Pres assistant editor Mark Kelly.

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