New Town residents mourn 4 people slain in homeNEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) — Residents of a North Dakota town where a woman and three of her grandchildren were shot and killed gathered for an evening prayer service Monday.
NEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) — Residents of a North Dakota town where a woman and three of her grandchildren were shot and killed gathered for an evening prayer service Monday.
Clinical psychologist Bob Edwards traveled from Minot to New Town on the Fort Berthold Reservation for the service to help people cope.
"I've talked with 30 people already. People want a chance to process their grief and their fear," he told the Minot Daily News.
Martha Johnson, 64, and three of her grandchildren — Benjamin Schuster, 13, Julia Schuster, 10, and Luke Schuster, 6 — were gunned down in their home Sunday afternoon, while Johnson's husband, Harley, was out hunting. Another Schuster sibling who was in the home was not hurt and called authorities.
Federal investigators are looking at a New Town man who committed suicide in nearby Parshall later Sunday as a person of interest in the case.
Tribal Chairman Tex Hall told The Associated Press that authorities have told tribal officials that the town of about 2,000 people is safe.
But many people remained shaken. Slayings are relatively rare in North Dakota, which is home to fewer than 700,000 people. Last year, only 24 murders and non-negligent manslaughters occurred.
"Our world, our lives, have been changed," Tribal Tax Director Mark Fox said Monday night.
School classes in New Town were canceled Monday but resumed Tuesday with additional counselors and clergy called in to help students and staff cope, Superintendent Marc Bluestone said.
"You don't hear about things like this in small town North Dakota," he told The Forum. "It's really a shock to everyone when it's your safe little town. It's very scary for all of us."