Coverage of the murder-suicide in Tyrone:
9:47 a.m. Wednesday: In his weekly column, the Herald's Doug Davison shares "All that's left is to move on."
2:30 p.m. Tuesday: A Dutch correspondent visited Texas County last week to cover the Tyrone shootings. But he wasn’t focused on the crime committed. Instead, Arjen van Veelen wanted to discover the community’s reaction.
On social media, van Veelen found the hashtag #PrayingForTyrone that was introduced by Faith Fellowship and spread on both Facebook and Twitter. It became his storyline in Texas County.
“I try to portray people and places with an as open mind as possible,” van Veelen said. “Prejudices abound, for example about the decline of community, or about rural America being backward. The #PrayingForTyrone hashtag showed me there is always an other side to the story: the way I see it, it's an example of an ancient sense of community, achieved with modern means.”
van Veelen interviewed Pastor Bill Villapiano, who posted a prayer for the community with the hashtag, and Herald editor Jeff McNiell, who created a popular image of a man kneeled in prayer in front of a map of Texas County. van Veelen also met with Houston businessman Caleb Arthur, who created a Facebook event supporting prayer for the victims’ families and organized a candlelight vigil.
van Veelen said most of the international attention is focused on the East and West coasts. He joked than when it snows in New York, it’s news in Amsterdam.
“I write mostly about the Midwest and about 'small town USA' – areas that are a blind spot for a lot of Europeans,” he said.
van Veelen moved to St. Louis last July with his wife, a microbiologist who does medical research at Washington University. He is completing a novel and works as a correspondent for Dutch newspapers as well as radio and television.
11:02 a.m. Tuesday: Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell, who has long been an outspoken proponent of taking precautionary safety measures, echoed Texas County Sheriff James Sigman's statement to keep doors locked.
Authorities said there were no signs of forced entry at any of the four homes where Joseph Jesse Aldridge killed seven people and seriously injured another on Feb. 26 in Tyrone.
“Obviously, to have something of this magnitude has to open our eyes as to some of the things we can do to guard ourselves,” McNiell said. “I’m a firm believer in keeping your doors locked when you’re at home at night. And really, I’d lock them in the daytime, too, unless you’re in and out of the house quite a bit.
“I also think people should consider some type of home security system. You can buy one you put in yourself, or even better have it installed by one of the companies that offers that service.
“It’s great protection when you’re home and when you’re away – against both fire and home invasion – and you can include other buildings on your property if you’re concerned about them.”
McNiell reiterated that people need to be wary of strangers.
“If somebody comes to your door who you’re not familiar with, try to talk to them through the door,” he said. “One of the best ploys being used out there is asking to use a phone. If that happens, tell the person you’ll call somebody for them, or maybe loan the phone out through the door.
“But do not let them into your house under any circumstances.”
1:55 p.m. Monday: Texas County Sheriff James Sigman said speculation circulating that murder suspect Joseph Aldridge was carrying a list of names – or “hit list” – during his Feb. 26 shootings in Tyrone are unfounded.
“There was no such thing,” Sigman said.
Authorities said Aldridge killed seven people and wounded another inside four separate residences before committing suicide. He was discovered about 15 miles away from the shootings inside his running truck.
Sgt. Jeff Kinder of the Missouri State Highway Patrol previously said Aldridge was discovered with "quite a bit of ammunition." Speculation that he was wearing a bulletproof vest was unfounded, but Kinder said he was wearing a "load-bearing vest."
12:09 p.m. Monday: Both the Shriver and Aldridge families shared public statements at last night's candlelight vigil.
The following statement was read by Pastor Nick Melton on behalf of the Shriver and Love families: "Thank you for your prayers and heartfelt support during this time of sorrow for our families. Words cannot express our appreciation for the kindness and compassion you have offered. Please continue to pray for us in the future."
Jamie Mayfield read this statement from the Aldridges: "The outpouring of love from family and friends and especially this community has been so wonderful. The prayers and donations from all over the community and the United States have been amazing. Even people from other countries have shown support to our family. We cannot thank you all enough for everything that you’ve done, your support and your prayers. We will continue to pray for you in this time. We are counting our blessings, as each one of you should be as well. Thank you all for your support and God bless you."
10:38 a.m. Monday: There are four members of Troop G of the Missouri State Highway Patrol who continue to investigate the shootings, according to Sgt. Jeff Kinder.
9:56 a.m. Monday: Sen. Mike Cunningham addressed the Tyrone shootings as part an interview released on his website: Listen here
9:46 a.m. Monday: Sgt. Jeff Kinder of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said a blood sample from suspected shooter Joseph Aldridge was submitted for analysis. "Depending on the back log, it could take some time to get the results," he said.
Kinder also said ballistics examination results could be available as soon as the end of the week.
11:39 p.m. Sunday: Two Springfield news stations covered the Sunday night prayer vigil for Tyrone. Here are their reports:
- KOLR 10: Town gathers for candlelight vigil for Tyrone shooting victims
- KY3: Vigil for Texas County shooting victims
9:17 p.m. Sunday: Drawing strength from another community that recently dealt with tragedy, Dr. Cordie Wimberley told a crowd of around 300 Sunday night inside Hiett Gymnasium that light would overcome darkness.
"I want you to know we are 'Texas County Strong,'" Wimberley said.
Statements from both the Shriver and Aldridge families were read before Wimberley, pastor at Souls Harbor Family Worship, shared a message of unity and hope.
"This senseless act robbed us of seven precious lives," he said. "We refuse to allow this evil act to rob us of anything else. All of us that have gathered here tonight, we chose to be a light. We chose to be a source of strength."
Following his brief message, pastors of the Houston Ministerial Alliance helped light candles in the circle of supporters. Wimberley then led the group in a moment of silence and singing of "Amazing Grace."
PHOTOS: Images from the event
3:35 p.m. Sunday: A candlelight and prayer vigil for Tyrone is 7 p.m. today at Hiett Gymnasium on the Houston High School campus. Doors open at 6 p.m. Candles will be provided.
The service will include area pastors as well as representatives from the Aldridge and Shriver families. Dr. Cordie Wimberley of Souls Harbor Family Worship will share a short message.
The vigil will be streamed online at www.houstonherald.com/live.
9:26 a.m. Saturday: A public memorial visitation for Darrell, Carey and Valirea Shriver is 2-6 p.m. today at Faith Fellowship. Services are under the direction of Evans Funeral Home of Houston.
A private family service and burial will be held at a later date.
8:31 p.m. Friday - Facebook is being flooded with images of porch lights shining tonight to support families and victims from the Tyrone shootings.
The group - "Porch Light Vigil for Tyrone, MO (Texas County)" - encouraged individuals to leave their exterior lights on tonight in support. Many have posted images of their light and hometown.
Images were posted from many communities across Missouri and several states.
2:55 p.m. Friday: A "porch light vigil" has been organized on Facebook for victims of the Tyrone shootings.
The event, which has a virtual attendance of more than 1,700, was created by Christy Collins and encourages citizens to turn on their porch lights at 7 p.m. Friday.
"Lets all come together and light up the night and show our support for their families and the children left behind," Collins wrote.
The event is titled "Porch Light Vigil for Tyrone, MO (Texas County)" on Facebook.
1:04 p.m. Friday: Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker has provided a timeline of his work in Tyrone following the shootings. Although the victims were shot and killed Thursday, Feb. 26, they were not pronounced dead until Friday, Feb. 27.
9:59 a.m. Friday: While he believes the region remains a safe place to live, Texas County Sheriff James Sigman said citizens must start locking their doors.
"You just can't count on keeping your doors unlocked anymore," he said. "You've got to watch your back."
9:16 a.m. Friday: Summersville High School, where gunshot survivor Martha Shriver taught in the school system, is holding a candlelight vigil for the Shriver and Aldridge families at 6:30 p.m. today.
A Facebook event created for the event says Nate Cooper will share scriptures as part of the event. Those attending are asked to begin their own unscented candle.
Another candlelight and prayer vigil is 7 p.m. Sunday at Houston High School.
3:56 p.m. Thursday: Texas County Sheriff James Sigman hopes to soon have more information to release about the Tyrone murders. But he said he isn’t sure there will ever be a definitive answer to the question of why Joseph Jesse Aldridge shot and killed seven people and then himself on last Thursday.
“We’re still talking to people,” Sigman said, “and I would like to have some sense of understanding as to why this may have occurred. But the reality of it is we may never know.”
Sigman said Aldridge, who committed suicide after driving to nearby Shannon County, might be the only person who could have cleared up the uncertainty.
“There are a lot of rumors and speculation,” Sigman said, “but he was the one with all the answers.”
2:46 p.m. Thursday: Texas County commissioners Fred Stenger, John Casey and Linda Garrett - all longtime-residents of the county - said they were stunned by the shootings. Read their reactions.
1:25 p.m. Thursday: Herald editor Jeff McNiell spoke live on the air of the Martin Kilcoyne Show on 550 KTRS this morning about the shootings and how the community is healing. Listen to the interview
1:03 p.m. Thursday: Texas County Memorial Hospital held a small memorial service at 11 a.m. for murdered employee Julie Aldridge. The service occurred at the same time funerals for Aldridge and her husband, Dee, as well as Wayne and Janell Aldridge were held in Willow Springs.
Pastor David Barbee, the president of the hospital's chaplain service, shared a message of hope in times of suffering and supporting one another.
"I encourage folks not to try to make sense of it, because it's senseless and not to try to find meaning because it's meaningless," Barbee said. "But to simply trust God's promise that through the suffering He will be with us and make us better for the experience, even though we can't understand it or comprehend it."
11:33 a.m. Thursday: Evans Funeral Home of Houston has released the obituary for Darrell Shriver, 68, one of seven victims in the shootings. Read the obituary.
9:30 a.m. Thursday: The Louisiana (Mo.) Press Journal reports about 200 residents met there last night for a candlelight vigil honoring the victims of the Tyrone shootings. One of the victims, Valirea (Love) Shriver, grew up there and graduated from Louisiana High School in 1989.
“Valirea and (her husband) Carey would be humbled to see the support of the community,” said eulogy speaker Sarah Haines, who is Valirea Shriver’s cousin, according to the Louisiana Press Journal.
9:08 a.m. Thursday: Funeral services for four victims of Thursday night's shootings in Tyrone are today. The services of Garold "Dee" Aldridge, Harold "Wayne" Aldridge, Janell Aldridge and Julie Ann Aldridge are 11 a.m. Thursday at First General Baptist Church in Willow Springs. Visitation is 10 a.m. until service time.
4:44 p.m. Wednesday: Thursday's tragic news led to record traffic at houstonherald.com. On Friday alone - as news broke of the shootings - there were 171,333 visitors who viewed 228,045 pages to set a new single-day record since the website launched 15 years ago.
In February there were 320,491 readers who viewed nearly 1.1 million pages.
10:13 a.m. Wednesday: In his column, "The blood was spilled," Herald columnist Doug Davison digs into several aspects of the catastrophic incidents in Tyrone.
In it, Davison refers to a column he wrote in 2011 - "There will be blood" - in which he recapped several violent, fatal crimes that happened that year in Texas County. He also stated more than three years ago in the now somewhat prophetic piece that such incidents were on the increase for good in the U.S., even in rural locations like Texas County.
8:25 a.m. Wednesday: This week's edition of the Houston Herald, which hits newsstands around noon today and arrives in mailboxes Thursday, includes five pages dedicated to coverage of Thursday's shootings.
"This was a difficult edition to produce," Editor Jeff McNiell said. "We are all members of this community and grieve alongside our friends. We hurt with this entire region.
"At the same time, we have an incredibly important job to not only provide information about the shootings and record it historically, but to honor the victims and aid in the healing process. I am very proud of the excellent work of my colleagues during a difficult stretch of days to be journalists."
8:06 a.m. Wednesday: The Springfield television station KSPR 33 highlighted Sunday's candlelight vigil with a piece featuring interviews with Scott Dill, superintendent of Houston Schools, and Caleb Arthur, who created the Facebook page "Praying for Tyrone Texas County MO."
Click here to watch the segment: Candlelight vigil will remember those slain in shooting rampage.
1:05 p.m. Tuesday: Sgt. Jeff Kinder of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Tuesday morning suspected murderer Joseph Aldridge shot his victims multiple times and was found with "quite a bit of ammunition."
Kinder said he didn’t know the exact number of times each of victim had been shot, but confirmed it was more than once.
“I don’t have an information on that other than they were shot multiple times,” he said.
Reports were unfounded that Aldridge was wearing a bulletproof vest during his rampage, according to Kinder.
“He was wearing a vest when he was found in his vehicle,” Kinder said, “but it was like a load-bearing vest, not a bulletproof vest.”
Aldridge was well equipped to fire his gun, Kinder said.
“He had quite a bit of ammunition on him,” he said.
12:58 p.m. Tuesday: An education fund for Mica Aldridge, the 15-year-old daughter of Dee and Julie Aldridge, has been established. Donations can be made at the Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home in Cabool.
4:12 p.m. Monday: A memorial visitation has been announced for three of the victims in Thursday's Tyrone shootings.
Visitation is 2-6 p.m. Saturday at Faith Fellowship for Darrell Dean Shriver, 68; his daughter-in-law, Valirea Carline Shriver, 44; and his son, Carey Dean Shriver, 46. A private family service will be held at a later date, Evans Funeral Home announced.
Memorial contributions to benefit Darrell and Martha Shriver's surviving grandchildren, Kayla and John, may be sent to Landmark Bank, P.O. Box 440, Houston, Mo. 65483.
2:22 p.m. Monday: Rep. Robert Ross, who serves Texas, Howell, Phelps and Pulaski counties in the Missouri House of Representatives, released a column Monday afternoon addressing the Tyrone shootings.
"Regardless of the headlines drafted to sell newspapers, or the phrases used to drive web traffic; make no mistake that this is a defining moment in our community," Ross wrote.
10:47 a.m. Monday: Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker said all seven victims of last Thursday’s shootings in Tyrone were killed by .45 caliber bullets.
"What I saw at the scene of all of the victims was that they were shot by .45 caliber weapon," he said. “It is my understanding that that is the same caliber Mr. (Joseph) Aldridge had when he shot himself.”
Whittaker said he was unable to confirm reports that Joseph Aldridge was wearing a bulletproof vest during his killing rampage.
“I did not see him,” Whittaker said. “He was in Shannon County and that’s out of my jurisdiction, and I haven’t talked with anybody to know how he was dressed. I do know he had some kind of vest on, but I don’t know if it was bulletproof."
10:25 a.m. Monday: Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker said an autopsy performed Saturday on Alice Aldridge, the mother of alleged shooter Joseph Aldridge, confirmed she died of lung cancer.
Authorities found Alice Aldridge, 74, deceased on a couch in her living room while responding to the residence as they searched for Joseph Aldridge.
8:50 p.m. Sunday: A candlelight vigil has been announced for 7 p.m. Wednesday inside Hiett Gymnasium on the campus of the Houston R-1 School District.
The event, which is being supported by the Houston Ministerial Alliance, will include representatives from both the Aldridge and Shriver families, who lost seven family members in the shootings. Pastor Cordie Wimberley of Souls Harbor Family Worship will also share.
Those attending are encouraged to bring non-scented candles. There will be songs and prayer as part of the vigil.
4:55 p.m. Sunday: Eighty-four people have contributed $4, 775 in the first 18 hours of an online fundraiser for the Shriver family.
Proceeds from the GoFundMe campaign at http://www.gofundme.com/ngo4v4 will benefit the children of Carey and Valirea Shriver as well as Martha Shriver, who survived the shooting. Her husband, Darrell, was killed.
The fundraiser was established by Rick Jenkins, who said he is a family friend.
"I grew up in Tyrone and have known the Shrivers and Aldridges for most of my life," Jenkins wrote. "I worked for Darrell and Martha for several years. They were more like family to me than friends. I am just trying to help them in anyway I can."
3:34 p.m. Sunday: Citing the Thursday murders in Tyrone, the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce has canceled its monthly luncheon on Tuesday.
Director Brenda Jarrett said the next luncheon will be held in April.
3:16 p.m. Sunday: Online fundraising for the Aldridge family, which lost four family members in Thursday's murders, has surpassed $10,000 in one day.
Couples Dee and Julie Aldridge and Wayne and Janelle Aldridge were killed in their Tyrone homes. They were among seven victims in an apparent murder-suicide.
"I just wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and their donations," Trenton Aldridge posted on the page. "I never thought we would receive so much needed assistance. It means a lot and is very heartwarming. Thank you everyone."
The site can be accessed at http://www.gofundme.com/aldridge-tyrone
1:56 p.m. Sunday: More than 3,700 people from multiple states were part of an online event for prayer Sunday morning for the families of victims in Thursday's murders in Tyrone.
The Facebook event called for united prayer at 11:10 a.m. Along with many towns in Missouri, there were responses from Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Nevada, Mississippi, Illinois, Tennessee, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, New York and Canada.
10:11 a.m. Sunday: Kayla Shriver, whose parents and grandfather were among the seven persons killed Thursday night in Tyrone, expressed thanks for support and asked for privacy in a social media posting Sunday morning.
Kayla, a Houston High School graduate and current student at Missouri State University, and her brother John, an eighth-grader at Houston Middle School, are the children of Carey Shriver, 46, and Valirea Shriver, 44. Their grandfather, Darrell Shriver, 68, was also killed.
Kayla Shriver wrote: "Life's not fair" is what my daddy has always told me. As I got older I understood that life what not fair and I am trying to understand it now. I never thought I would be writing these words. Something was taken away from John and I that we will never be able to get back. I do not understand but I am trying so hard to understand.
"John and I have been strong. As strong as we can be with the circumstances. I know everyone is concerned about us but out of respect John and I would like some privacy. We appreciate all the texts, calls and posts but it is very overwhelming for us.
"John and I loved our Momma, Daddy, and Granddad very much. I keep thinking about everything they will miss. I won't have my daddy to walk me down the aisle or my momma to help me with picking out a wedding dress and childbirth. Mom and Dad won't be able to watch John graduate high school. This list goes on. Why such things were taken away from us we do not understand but eventually we will. We love our community, our friends and our family so much. We really appreciate what everyone is doing for us."
9:27 a.m. Sunday: An online fundraiser for the Shrivers, who lost three family members in Thursday's suicide-murder in Tyrone, was established Saturday night.
The page - listed at http://www.gofundme.com/ngo4v4 - was established by Rick Jenkins, who is a friend of the family. The site says funds raised will be used for funeral expenses, cleaning of homes and medical expenses for Martha Shriver, who survived the shootings.
Carey Shriver, 46, and Valirea Shriver, 44, were two of the seven victims in the Tyrone area. They have two surviving children, an eighth-grader at Houston Middle School and college student at Missouri State University.
Darrell Shriver, 68, is the husband of Martha Shriver. He was also killed in the shootings.
10:28 p.m. Saturday: Funeral services have been announced for four victims of Thursday night's shootings.
The services of Garold "Dee" Aldridge, Harold "Wayne" Aldridge, Janell Aldridge and Julie Ann Aldridge are 11 a.m. Thursday at First General Baptist Church in Willow Springs. Visitation is 10 a.m. until service time.
Services are under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. An online guestbook is available at www.egcfuneralhome.com.
9:10 p.m. Saturday: A Facebook page using the hashtag #PrayingForTyrone has been established to generate support for the community.
An event - "Moment of Prayer Time for Tyrone, MO (Texas County) - was created for 11:10 a.m. Sunday. It says:
"We would like to ask everyone to stop and remember the families of this tragedy in Tyrone, Missouri. This is a horrific loss for the families and the community. Prayers to the family that is left behind. Just know we all are lifting you up in prayer. Our thoughts are with you all. It has left a scar in all our hearts. As in a small area we are intertwined one way or another. And please remember all the law enforcement and emergency responders that have worked this scene. May God wrap his loving arms of peace around each and everyone of you."
8:52 p.m. Saturday: An online account has been established for the Aldridge family. In the first hour, it had raised just over $6,000.
The page, which was created by Jamie McAlister, says funds raised will go to the children of Dee and Julie Aldridge as well as Wayne and Janelle Aldridge. The site can be accessed at http://www.gofundme.com/aldridge-tyrone
7:06 a.m. Saturday: Texas County Sheriff James Sigman made the following statement late Friday night:
"I would like to say thank you to the Texas County deputies, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Cabool Police Department, Houston Police Department, Licking Police Department, Texas County coroner, Texas County Sheriff's Department dispatchers and Texas County EMS for all their hard work last night and today as we investigated several tragic scenes.
"It's team work like this that makes our county so wonderful. Although Texas County suffered a terrible tragedy overnight we will pull together and get through this tragic event.
"Thank you for all the prayers that have gone out for the families of the victims and the officers involved in the investigation. Thank you to all the surrounding county sheriff's and law enforcement agencies that offered their assistance today. Thank you to the Red Cross and the Texas County EMD for their support this morning. I ask that you continue to pray for the families affected by this tragedy and offer them support in this difficult time."
PREVIOUSLY: Eight people were killed, including the alleged gunman, in multiple shootings Thursday night near Tyrone in Texas County.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said 36-year-old Joseph Jesse Aldridge apparently killed seven individuals and injured another at multiple residences before fleeing to Shannon County and killing himself. Authorities believe a ninth person died of natural causes before the shooting spree and may have motivated the gunman.
The patrol identified four victims Friday afternoon at a press conference as two married couples: Garold Dee Aldridge, 52, and Julie Ann Aldridge, 47, and Harold Wayne Aldridge, 50, and Janell Arlisa Aldridge, 48. Services for the couples are 11 a.m. Thursday, March 5, at First General Baptist Church at Willow Springs under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home at Cabool. Visitation starts at 10 a.m.
Three others were identified Saturday afternoon by the Texas County Sheriff's Department: Darrell Dean Shriver, 68; his son, Carey Dean Shriver, 46; and his daughter-in-law Valirea Love Shriver, 44. The Shrivers operate a cabinet-making business. Darrell Shriver's wife, Martha, 67, was shot and is expected to recover.
The patrol said a request for assistance was received at 10:15 p.m. Thursday from the Texas County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities were notified after a juvenile girl who heard gunshots inside her home ran to a neighbor’s residence seeking help.
Responding deputies found two victims inside the home. Further investigation led to three additional residences in Tyrone where five people were killed and one person was injured.
At another residence on nearby Highway 137 was the body of a deceased elderly woman — Alice L. Aldridge, 74, who apparently died from natural causes and was the alleged shooter's mother. Authorities went to the home looking for the suspect and found the woman dead on the couch.
Joseph J. Aldridge was found dead inside his vehicle on a county road in Shannon County, and was a cousin of the male Aldridge victims named Friday.
Elaine Haemker, who lives on Highway H where two residences were surrounded by police tape Friday morning, said authorities went door-to-door looking for victims. She said they arrived at her house at 3:45 a.m.
“We were told to stay in the house and not open our door to strangers,” she said.
The patrol established a mobile command post at Highways H and 137 at the defunct Christy's General Store. By 7:30 a.m. Friday, law enforcement was concluding its investigation at two homes on Highway H near Highway DD and removed yellow tape from one yard. The residences are all within a three-mile radius of Tyrone.
Faculty members at Houston R-1 Schools were contacted early Friday morning and asked to report early to work to communicate with building administrators. Superintendent Scott Dill, who was notified of the murders by authorities around 3 a.m., said area schools offered assistance if needed.
Dill said he considered several options, including canceling classes, while the suspect was at-large. He said authorities notified him around 5 a.m. that they found the man deceased.