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Appomattox shooting victims remembered at memorial service

Three of the eight victims of a killing spree in Appomattox last week are being remembered as a fun-loving family.

At a service Monday in Lynchburg, mourners shared their memories of Lauralee Dobyns Sipe, her husband Dwayne Sipe and their 4-year-old Joshua Sipe. More than 150 people filled Heritage Baptist Church for the service.

Services were held Sunday for 15-year-old Morgan Leigh Dobyns, Lauralee's daughter from a previous marriage. Funerals are planned this week for the other victims of the Jan. 19 rampage.

Thirty-nine-year-old Christopher Speight is being held without bond on a single murder charge. More charges are expected. The killings occurred at a home jointly owned by Speight and the Sipes.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 25, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Updates , Virginia  
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Interesting how low-key the response is to killing spree versus the killing spree at Virginia Tech, only 100 miles away. In this case 150 people showed up at services; after the Virginia Tech shootings - and granted, there were 32 people killed, not 8, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine returned early from a trade mission to Tokyo, Japan and declared a "state of emergency" in Virginia, enabling him to immediately deploy state personnel, equipment, and other resources in the aftermath of the shootings; and, in the case of the Virginia Tech shootings, a court approved approved an $11 million settlement with 24 of the 32 victims' families.

And, for all the gun control aftermath after the Virginia Tech shootings, no one seems to be near as vocal in the more recent shooting.

Is there a disparity somewhere?

Posted by: Dungarees | January 25, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Virginia and guns.

Pathetic example of the Commonwealth's addiction to problem-solving with firearms. And of course the Commonwealth peddles and sells to other states, other nations. And there's no seeming shame, just the follow-up sensational 'human interest' stories. The gun nut's stupidy is ingrained and apparently permanent.

Posted by: suzeq | January 25, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe one reason public response is different in this mass killing is that the Appomattox shootings are viewed as domestic violence, like a husband going off the deep end and killing his family. Compared to a killer taking out 32 people in a major University, domestic killings--even mass killings--don't seem as unusual. I'm also a cynic, though, and so I'd add that the Virginia Tech shootings were a black eye to a state school, if not to the state itself, and so the politicians had to make a more public display of grief in order to compensate for the failures that led up to the murders.

Posted by: mercredi | January 26, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

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