‘Why did it happen to somebody like him?’ grieving fellow Christians demand to know.
Second Place, News Story, Associated Church Press
Second Place, In-Depth Coverage, Associated Church Press
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
DALLAS — The preacher stood wearily on stage, wiping tears from his eyes.
The mayor, working to bring healing to a city of 1.3 million, sought solace on a front pew.
Allison Jean, mourning the fatal shooting of her son Botham Shem Jean by a Dallas police officer, wailed as the 250-member, predominantly black congregation sang hymns such as “Trouble in My Way.”
“I know that Jesus — Jesus — he will fix it after a while,” the church sang.
Television and newspaper cameras captured the emotion — and the heartbreak — as the Dallas West Church of Christ gathered to worship Sunday, three days after the inexplicable killing of 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own apartment.
This was no ordinary Lord’s Day for Christians grieving the sudden loss of a beloved song leader and Bible class teacher — and doing so under an immense media spotlight stretching from Texas all the way to the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia.
“Somebody like Bo — why?” longtime church member Sherron Rodgers said, uttering the question on everybody’s mind. “Why did it happen to somebody like him? I’m just sad.
“He was a special, kind person who would never mess with anybody,” she added. “He’d take off his jacket and give it to you. That’s the kind of person he was.”
This story appears in the October 2018 edition of The Christian Chronicle. It was picked up by Religion News Service and distributed on its national wire.