Two Church Shooting Victims Were Former Texans

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

According to a report Monday in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, two church shooting victims were former Texans.

Family and friends say Linda Kraeger was an author, scholar and retired professor of English at Grayson County College in North Texas.

Her niece Debi Campbell of Oak Ridge told a Tennessee newspaper Monday that her aunt will be remembered for her beautiful smile.

Kraeger was wounded in the Sunday morning shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville and died Sunday night at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The newspaper reported that Kraeger and her husband Duane moved to Tennessee from Denton 18 months ago with another couple from Texas, Joe and Mary Ann Barnhart.

Joe Barnhart, 76, also a former author and professor at the University of North Texas in Denton, was wounded in the shooting.

Reports indicate that Barnhart’s brother and sister-in-law were also injured.

Betty Barnhart was treated and later released, where as Jack Barnhart, 69, was in critical condition Monday, the paper reported.

Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen, IV said Monday the man accused in the attack that killed two and left five seriously wounded evidently selected the congregation because of its liberal social stance.

Owen said police found a letter in the vehicle of Jim Adkisson, who was tackled and held by members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church after the Sunday morning attack.

Owen said Adkisson expressed frustration over being out of work and had a "stated hatred of the liberal movement."

The church is known for advocating women's and gay rights and founding an American Civil Liberties Union chapter.

Owen said the letter indicated Adkisson did not expect to leave the church alive and had 76 rounds of ammunition for his 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun.

He managed to fire only three rounds before he was tackled.
He had carried the shotgun, which he bought a month ago at a pawnshop, in a guitar case.

The church’s congregation was watching the performance of a children’s musical when Adkisson opened fire around 10:15 a.m. Sunday.

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