Prayer Vigil Begins Long Healing Process After Mount Tabor H.S. Shooting

Prayer Vigil Begins Long Healing Process After Mount Tabor H.S. Shooting

12:31am Sep 03, 2021
The community mourns during a prayer vigil at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church on Thursday, September 2, 2021. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night in front of Mount Tabor United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem to pray for peace and healing after a fatal shooting at a local high school.

The crowd of navy and gold, the colors of Mount Tabor High School, sang "Amazing Grace." There were lots of hugs, tears, and reflection. 

“I’m glad that a lot of people are here supporting this. Just two weeks after COVID, you know everyone is going back to school and something tragic like this happens that’s not supposed to happen," says Kai Phillips, who graduated in 2020. "It’s pretty breathtakingly heavy, so it’s hard to take this in.”

A common phrase during the vigil was "Spartan Strong" as students, parents, and families continue to cope with the loss of a student and the trauma left behind.

Police say William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr. died after another student shot him on campus Wednesday. The suspect’s identity hasn’t been released. The incident sparked lockdowns at several schools and chaos and confusion for parents trying to reach their children.

Senior Chris Glenn plays on Mount Tabor's football team. He says many of his friends knew both the victim and the alleged shooter. He’s still trying to process what happened.

"It’s just like crazy how your emotions impact your decision on what to do and stuff and it’s just crazy to see someone turn like that and that doesn’t happen at Mount Tabor," says Glenn. "It’s a good community and to see something like that it’s mind-blowing, shocking.”

Glenn says he’ll never forget what happened that day and wonders what school will be like when it reopens next week. For now, he’s finding comfort in his teammates, his faith, and the outpouring of support from the community.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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