Shooting At My Old Elementary School

Jim Burroway

February 7th, 2008

I’m stunned. I’ve just learned that a teacher was shot by her husband at the elementary school I attended in Portsmouth, Ohio. Reports are sketchy, but Notre Dame Elementary School teacher Christy Layne was apparently shot this morning. It’s unlcear whether it happened inside the classroom or outside the school building. She has been rushed to the local hospital and flown out to Huntington, WV. (Portsmouth’s a rather small town.) Her husband apparently is holed up at home in the northwest part of town, surrounded by local police and a SWAT team that was called in.

The Roman Catholic diocese of Columbus is sending a crisis team to Portsmouth to counsel the families. No children were hurt; all are accounted for. Please remember them in your prayers.

Update: The NBC affiliate from nearby Huntington, WV has video. They are also saying another relative of the suspect was stabbed on 11th street, which runs just a few blocks behind the school.

Update: The husband was found dead of a (possibly) self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the house. This is stunning, something that nobody ever expects to happen in their quiet little hometown. And this one is affecting members of my home parish. I have a lot of very pleasant memories of my time at that school — First Communion, May crownings, Confirmation … and Sister Seaton on rollerskates.


February 7th, 2008


I’m sorry to hear of this. I also grew up in the Portsmouth area (didn’t know you were from there). I guess Scioto Memorial hospital is no longer there, or no longer staffed well enough to handle this kind of emergency.

If I were a religious person, I would pray for this family. They are in my thoughts nonetheless. My family experienced a similar incident not long ago.

Jim Burroway

February 7th, 2008

Mercy Hospital was closed and torn down. Scioto Memorial is still there, but under a new name, Southern Ohio Medical Center. But their capablities are very limited. They don’t seem to have much trauma capability and most serious emergencies are medivac’ed very quicly. In fact, when one relative had a heart attack recently, he was flown to King’s Daughters in Ashland, KY and not kept in Portsmouth.

Bill Ware

February 7th, 2008

As someone who was engaged in marriage counseling, I’m always distressed when something like this happens. Emotions can run high in these situations but they should never be allowed to run amok.

My deepest sympathies for those who are affected by this trauma.

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