Churches Offer Counseling After AL Shooting

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Michael McLendon reined down terror on three small Alabama towns before finally killing himself in a deadly shooting rampage Tuesday.

His killing spree ranged across a quiet rural area of the state where such dramatic events are completely unknown, hitting the towns of Kinston, Samson and Geneva.

Now many are seeking the help of local pastors to help them deal with such a tragic loss.

Click play to watch Paul Strand's report followed by comments from Pastor Jack Chancey on how churches in the area are helping residents there cope.

"I never would think anything like this would happen in a small town and I, you know, I'm just simply devastated," neighbor Libby Griswold said.

He started out killing his mother and her four dogs, burning down her home.

Then he moved on another relative's house, killing his grandfather and grandmother, an uncle and an aunt.

He also shot two visitors there -- the wife and 18-month-old child of a sheriff's deputy.

"He lost his wife and his one-and-a-half year old daughter, and his three-month old baby was also hit with gun fragments," Geneva County Sheriff Greg Ward said of the deputy's family. "It's just hard to understand why something like this would happen."

After that, McLendon apparently just began driving and shooting people at random.

"We just cannot figure out what happened that would make him snap and do something this horrific," Griswold said.

One woman was struck down as she walked out of a gas station. Another man was driving. Another man was shot as he tried to run away.

"Oh yeah, we saw him come by. We heard the gunshots and everything. And we were standing outside and saw him come by and then we saw the law just everywhere," eyewitness Tonya Post said.

McLendon fired several shots at a Wal-Mart store in Geneva. No one was killed, but it was unclear if anyone was injured.

"It's crazy and you'd never, ever have thought something like that would happen in Geneva," Christina Post said.

"I think ... I think it's horrible," Tonya Post added.

Police pursued McLendon to Geneva's Reliable Metal Products, where he got out of his car and fired at police with his automatic weapon, wounding Geneva Police Chief Frankie Lindsey. He then walked inside and killed himself.

"I think that the boy was really, really crazy and needed help. But there ain't no sense in trying to help hisself now because he helped himself right on out," Lisa Johnson said.

There had recently been layoffs at the plant, but it was not immediately known if McLendon was among those losing their jobs.

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Paul Strand

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