Family of man who shot Amish girls thanks community
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LANCASTER, Pa. -- Relatives of a man who shot 10 Amish schoolgirls, killing five of them, nearly a year ago issued a statement today saying the families are "doing well" and rebuilding their lives.
The letter, signed by the Roberts and Welk families, thanked the community and said prayers, cards and gifts have lifted their spirits.
The 32-year-old gunman, Charles C. Roberts IV, killed himself inside the West Nickel Mines Amish School on Oct. 2 as state troopers stormed the one-room schoolhouse.
The Welks are the family of Mr. Roberts' widow, Marie, and Mr. Roberts was working as a milk hauler for a Welk family business at the time of the killings. Members of both families live within a few miles of the school.
Marie Roberts, who remarried in May, has not spoken publicly about the shooting.
The five-sentence statement indicated the families' prayers and thoughts are with the Amish and with emergency workers "who have also experienced a deep loss and severe trauma."
It was released through the state police in Lancaster along with a request that the media do not contact them directly.
Last week, the Amish provided information on the recovery of the wounded girls who survived. One is in a wheelchair and depends totally on her family for care, another recently underwent surgery to repair a shoulder and arm wound, and a third continues to suffer vision problems.
The Amish and surrounding community plan no public memorial or observance for the anniversary in two weeks. New Hope Amish School, built to replace the torn-down schoolhouse that was the scene of the shooting, will be closed.
First Published September 17, 2007 3:03 pm