Dear Editor: I am Sherri Powell, the mother of Thomas Powell. I cannot tell you how horrified we were when Tom shot the two Newton County deputies the day he died. No one had any idea that his emotional and mental turmoil had gotten to the point that such a thing was even possible. Now we understand that he was dealing with more than the sane mind can comprehend. My purpose in writing this letter is to try to tell you of the Tom, who gave such joy and light to those around him, before the mental illness he was afflicted with dimmed it so completely. I know many have crucified him for his actions this past Monday, but let me offer that he was a compassionate and caring young man who in his right mind would have never committed such acts. My daughter and her friend started a page on Facebook.com titled "In Memory of Thomas Leland Powell" that is open to anyone. Our original purpose was to post some pictures to remember him by, but it has turned into something so much more. The numbers of people who have become members and posted memories and condolences have increased daily, and the beautiful messages have comforted us more than I can express. Thank you, Newton County Sheriff’s Office, for going to such extremes in an attempt to save Tom’s life, and thanks to all the dear friends who have played such a tremendous role in uplifting this family.