BUTLER TWP, Ohio (WDTN) — The Vandalia-Butler community held a United in Prayer event following a Friday morning neighborhood shooting that left four people dead.
Monday night’s vigil was quite powerful and emotional, everyone coming together to honor the Knox and Anderson family members who were brutally killed on Friday. Some of their family members spoke for the first time at the vigil and said the outpouring of love and support reminds them their loved ones will never be forgotten.
“I can’t imagine going through this without our faith,” said Brett Anderson.
Brett Anderson, the husband and father of Sarah and Kayla Anderson, said the family is struggling coming to terms with his wife and daughter’s deaths. Their neighbors Clyde and Eva Knox were also killed in Friday’s quadruple murder.
The youngest victim of the shooting was 15-year-old Kayla Anderson, who was a student at Vandalia-Butler High School.
“I just pray for the families, I pray for healing the neighborhood and for the older sister and dad, this is just devastating and sad and I’m so sorry,” said student Jayda Jackson.
Grief counselors encouraged families and students to allow one another to process grief in different stages, but know there is plenty of rage and frustration among families.
“I heard people are being mean to the suspect’s family who are members of our community and schools, it’s understandable to be angry but remember, the Bible says do not wrestle against flesh and blood,” said counselor Kelly Case.
Other districts in the Miami Valley canceled events and practices, showing Vandalia-Butler they may be rivals on the field but tonight, they are all family.
“We have players on our team that are personally affected by the tragedies this weekend and it was very important to be here to show solidarity and show them they are not alone in this fight,” said Tippecanoe High School Varsity Women’s Soccer Head Coach Brent Palmer. “They have friends and allies in the Tipp community regardless of our rivalry on the field.”
Butler Township’s Police Chief John Porter received a standing ovation during the vigil, the community thanking him for his department’s work.