- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 15, 2009

SAMSON, ALA. (AP) - A deputy who joined the pursuit of a rampaging gunman now faces the grim task of burying two of his own family members.

Funerals were set Sunday in Geneva for deputy Joshua Myers’ 31-year-old wife, Andrea, and their 18-month-old daughter, Corrine Gracy, two of the 10 people Michael McLendon killed during a 24-mile shooting spree before he turned the gun on himself last week.

The Myers’ other daughter, 3-month old Ella, was injured by shrapnel but survived. She was released from Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., on Thursday after the shrapnel and a blood clot were removed from her leg.

Joe Newsome, an emergency medical technician, was sent to the porch in a quiet Samson neighborhood where Andrea Myers, her daughter and three other people were shot Tuesday. He said being called to an emergency and then finding out loved ones are among the victims is unthinkable for a first responder.

“I can’t even imagine it, I cannot,” he said. “I wished I could so I can be there for him more, but I can’t imagine what it would be like.”

Authorities said McLendon, 28, was apparently depressed over his failures in life.

He started his spree by killing his mother, Lisa McLendon, 52, at the home they shared near the isolated community of Kinston. Then he went to the home of his uncle, James Alford White, 55, who lived across the street from the Myers’ sunny yellow home. Andrea Myers and her children visited the Whites several times a week and were there when McLendon drove up and opened fire.

White was also killed, as were his daughter, Tracy Michelle Wise, 34, and her son, Dean James Wise, 15. McLendon gunned down his grandmother, Virginia E. White, 74, on an adjacent porch.

Afterward, he sprayed bullets from his car window as he drove through town, killing James Irvin Starling, 24, as he walked along a street and Sonya Smith, 42, as she walked out of a gas station.

Bruce Wilson Maloy, 51, was shot and killed when he tried to stop the rampage by using his pickup truck to ram McLendon’s car. McLendon then drove to a Geneva metals plant where he worked several years ago. He ran into the business and killed himself after a gunfight with police.

More than 200 people gathered Saturday to remember Smith, the first victim to be buried.

(This version CORRECTS deputy’s wife’s name to ‘Andrea’ sted ‘Lisa’ in graf 7 and family relations in graf 8.) Will be updated from funeral that starts at 4 p.m. EST.)

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