Statement issued on 2 students killed from Forest Acres Elementary School

Hayden King
Hayden King

Two Forest Elementary School students were found shot to death inside a car at Pickens Co. Speedway on Thursday night.

There are Harper Edens, 5 (female) and Hayden King, 9 (male).

READ: Motive, names of 4 dead in Greenville, Pickens Co. shootings

Their mother, Jessica Edens, 36 was also found dead inside the car.

Another woman Meredith Leigh Rahme, 28, of Greenville, was found shot to death in a downtown Greenville parking garage.

Investigators say the two shootings are related.

READ Police asked to check on Edens’ kids the night before shooting

Pickens Co. Schools released the following statement:

Our district is shaken by the death of two children and a parent in the Forest Acres school community. Hayden King was a rising fourth grader at Forest Acres Elementary School, and his sister, Harper Edens, was enrolled to begin kindergarten this fall. Our prayers and condolences go out to their family, their friends, their classmates, and our educators who were touched by their lives.

At this time, plans for a vigil or memorial involving the school community have not been arranged. We will work with the school to communicate information if and when such an event is planned.

Forest Acres Elementary’s principal and two of Hayden King’s teachers have allowed me to share their thoughts with the media. Their statements are included below.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic incident that took the life of one of our students. Hayden always had a smile for his teachers and friends. He will be remembered as a happy, caring child who was full of joy. We were looking forward to serving his younger sister, Harper, in Kindergarten in August. Please continue to pray for the families impacted as well as students and staff of Forest Acres.” — Darian Byrd, Forest Acres Elementary Principal

“Hayden was a sweet child who had a bright smile that lit up the room. He was a hardworking and an inquisitive student who always wanted to do his best. He gave 100% every day. He will be deeply missed.” — Cindi Fogle, Third Grade Teacher

“Hayden was a hard-working, caring student who loved others. He always went out of his way to help his classmates in their time of need. He impacted my life greatly as his teacher, and he will be deeply missed.” — Kelleigh Barner, Second Grade Teacher

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