“Once we found out children were involved it was completely devastating and heart breaking and for the family,” says Greenwood Resident Heather Evans, “I’ve just been praying for them and what they’re going through.”
Greenwood County Deputies say Tuesday night 27-year-Bryan Sweatt shot and killed five people, including two children before killing himself. Two of his victims were Tariq Robinson, 11, and Asa Robinson, 9. They went to Westview Middle School and Matthews Elementary School.
Counselors are available at both schools offering grief counseling and support to students and staff.
“Grief puts the kids on an emotional roller coaster and they might have a series of ups and downs,” says Johnathan Graves, a spokesperson for Greenwood District 50.
Counselors also give advice for talking to your own kids about tragedies like this. They say:
The most important thing is to listen to your child; let their questions guide the conversation.
Watch their eating, sleeping and behavior patterns
If you see a dramatic change in their habits, talk with a doctor about seeking outside care.
Remember, you may not want to tell a younger child all the details.
“Truly we don’t have all the answers and it’s hard when they come to you and ask why and what happened, you have to be very very careful,” says Glenda Green, resident of Greenwood.
The community of Greenwood continues to grieve too. They’re hugging they kids and loved ones a little tighter and clinging to faith.
“We just have to pray and come together as a community and support both families because they’ve both suffered a tragic loss,” Green says.