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Posted: August 9, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Praise and sorrow

Last week we had a double tragedy in our community that could have ended much worse than it did.

An apparently distraught and ill young man shot two deputies who had responded to a 911 call to his family’s house; the shots sent both deputies to the hospital and we are grateful to know that both will fully recover from their injuries.

There are two points we would like to make in this editorial. First, occasionally throughout the years we have had a disagreement or two about the administrative operations of our various public safety departments, but never have we doubted the courage and perseverance of men and women who place their lives and their family’s welfare on the line to protect us everyday.

There is not a day that goes by in Newton County that a first responder has not made a decision that has either saved lives or protected us from some catastrophe.

We especially salute the courage of deputies Wesley Atha and James Trent.

Our second point is that the young man who shot the deputies should not be demonized. He and his family suffered with his mental illness for years. Despite his illness his family loved him because they saw a side of him that many will never know. We pray that Thomas Powell has now reached a place where he can find peace and that in time his family will heal from this tragedy with love from each other and friends.

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