Prayer service held for slain Pennsylvania teacher
April 27, 1998
Students arrive at school for the first time since Friday night's shooting
Web posted at: 11:23 a.m. EDT (1523 GMT)
EDINBORO, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- The teacher gunned down at a weekend school dance was remembered on Monday at a prayer service before the start of classes.
About 70 students, some wearing white ribbons, attended the service at Parker Middle School in northwestern Pennsylvania. School district Superintendent Therese Walter told teachers to prepare for "the absolutely most difficult day of their careers."
Police say Andrew Wurst, 14, an eighth-grader at the school, shot and killed teacher John Gillette, 48, and slightly wounded three others at a school dinner-dance Friday night.
Witnesses said he pulled out a .25-caliber handgun and shot Gillette in the head, then walked inside a banquet hall and fired several more shots before leaving. The wounded did not require hospitalization.
Authorities in Edinboro, a town of about 5,000 people located 100 miles north of Pittsburgh, said they did not know of a motive in the shootings.
Viewings for Gillette, a science teacher and father of three, were to be held later on Monday. Gillette's funeral was scheduled for Tuesday.
Wurst is in isolation at the Erie County Prison. He is charged as an adult with homicide, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment. He also faces gun and drug charges.
Police said he was carrying a small amount of marijuana when he was arrested. If convicted, he could face life in prison. Under Pennsylvania law, a 14-year-old cannot be sentenced to death.