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While most of us were winding down after a long Labor Day weekend, an unspeakable tragedy was unfolding at a home in Elkmont.

A 14-year-old boy used a handgun to shoot and killed his father, his stepmother and three other children, the youngest of which was still a baby. It's the kind of horrific tragedy we read about in other places.

This week, it happened here.

We, like all of you, are stunned and shaken. As the investigation into what happened unfolds, there are still more questions than answers. Why did this happen? How could this happen? What on Earth was so bad in this young man's life? How does a 14-year-old have access to a handgun?

We feel confident some of these questions will be answered in due time, but it's likely we may never know the whole story.

What we do know, however, is Limestone County knows how to come together during times of immense tragedy and grief. We are, above and beyond everything else, a community. We are a family.

As a family, we need to rally around and comfort not only the extended family, but those who took the call, responded to the scene and processed the scene. We should also pray for and comfort those investigating this tragedy. Hopefully, some understanding will emerge with time.

It's tempting for some to stir up trouble and make false accusations on social media. There are those who live for and feed off drama surrounding a tragedy.

There is never a time for such foolish behavior, but now is especially not the time. Let those whose responsibility it is to do so — i.e., law enforcement — be the ones who release facts about the suspect and the victims.

This tragedy is unparalleled in its scope for Limestone County. It's hard for anyone to wrap their mind around.

We, as a community, will shed tears for this family. We will also pray for this family. In time, we may heal.

For now, we simply ask there be a moratorium on rumor, blame, half-truths and conjecture. The victims deserve better. We are capable of better.

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