- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2008

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Heartbroken mourners struggled yesterday to understand why someone would fatally shoot a popular University of North Carolina student body president and cut short a life with such promise.

Hundreds of people from Eve Carson’s hometown of Athens and the Chapel Hill, N.C., university filled Athens First United Methodist Church and fellowship hall. Many wore Carolina blue ribbons in her honor.

“We should not be here this afternoon,” the senior minister, Bill Britt, said, angry that she was not instead celebrating spring break or getting ready for the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament.

“It is too soon to be remembering the life of Eve Marie Carson,” he said.

Mr. Britt remembered Miss Carson, 22, as someone who made a difference and saw the good in others.

Miss Carson was found Wednesday morning lying on a street about a mile from campus. She had been shot several times, including once in the right temple. Police said she was likely the victim of a random crime.

Detectives have been searching for a man photographed using Miss Carson’s ATM card, releasing photos Saturday of the suspect at an automated teller machine in Chapel Hill.

Meanwhile, in Marietta, Ga., the hometown of slain Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk, a rabbi asked hundreds of people gathered at her funeral to turn their anger into something positive and let the justice system handle her killer.

Rabbi Steven Lebow said at Temple Kol Emeth that mourners should give blood or donate to charity in Miss Burk’s memory.

“It would be easy to give way to our emotions this afternoon because there is a spectrum of feelings broiling and unsettling our souls,” Mr. Lebow said. “The right thing isn’t vengeance. The right thing is justice.

“Let justice be done, because only when the killer is brought before the bar of justice can the universe in some small way be repaired,” he said.

Miss Burk, 18, was found shot on the side of an off-campus road Tuesday night and her car was found burning in a campus parking lot. A man has been charged in her death.

Mr. Lebow said the person who took her life committed two unpardonable sins: killing and theft.

“He stole from Lauren’s family the trust that all of us have that this is a good world, that Auburn is a safe town. He stole from all of us the sense of security that makes normalcy and life possible,” Mr. Lebow said.

A white casket holding Miss Burk’s body was placed at the front of the sanctuary. Childhood and teenage pictures of Miss Burk were displayed in the synagogue’s lobby.

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