Prosecutor Challenges Texas School Shooting Survivors To Face ‘Spiritual War Zone’

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

The district attorney prosecuting the capital murder case of the Santa Fe school shooting warned graduating seniors that they are entering a “spiritual war zone.”

Jack Roady, district attorney for Galveston County, addressed the graduating students of Santa Fe High School during their baccalaureate on Sunday and gave them a sober warning about the spiritual reality of the world they are entering, according to The Associated Press. Roady is prosecuting the 17-year-old charged with killing eight students and two substitute teachers in the Santa Fe school shooting on May 18. (RELATED: Report: Capital Murder Charges For Santa Fe Shooter)

“You are entering into a war zone in this world, and it’s a spiritual war zone,” Roady said in his baccalaureate address, according to AP.

Graduates and current students also spoke and urged those present to find comfort in unity and in focusing on the love of God.

“If you give God the glory, you will always find comfort and love,” said Santa Fe graduate Aaron Chenoweth, according to AP.

Graduating senior Todd Penick acknowledged the grief and confusion that beset students, teachers, and parents after the school shooting, saying that the aftermath would not pass quickly but that the school community would ultimately find solace in drawing together.

“Nobody is going to be OK in a couple of days,” Penick said, according to AP. “Nobody can look you in the eyes and tell you it’s OK. But we’re going to be OK because everyone is so unified.”

Mourners also gathered at a mosque in Houston to honor Sabika Sheikh, a 17-year-old exchange student from Pakistan who was killed during the shooting. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner attended the memorial service, and said that Sheikh continues to strengthen connections between the U.S. and her home country “because even in her death, she is pulling the relationships between Pakistan and the United States, specifically the Houston area, even closer.”

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