Lake Butler comes together after mass shooting

Union County residents speak about gunman, victim

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

LAKE BUTLER, Fla. - A prayer service was held early Sunday evening at First Christian Church of Lake Butler to pray for the families of the victims of Saturday's mass shooting that took the life of a trucking company owner and two of his employees.

Sunday was a time for Lake Butler residents to come together, to pray for each other and to remember those killed in a shooting rampage.

The Union County Sheriff's Office said 80-year-old Marvin Pritchett was shot and killed on his farm by his former employee, Hubert Allen.

Investigators believe the 70-year-old also shot three other men. One has died and another is barely clinging to his life.

"Mr. Pritchett was like a dad to me," said Tim Whitehead. "He was like a mentor to everyone he came into contact with. He built an empire here and he was someone you could look up to."

Art Peterson is the pastor at First Christian Church where the Pritchett family has gone to worship for decades. He said he knew almost everyone involved, including Hubert Allen.

"You know, in fact, I talked to him (Allen) last week," said Peterson. "It shocks me because never in a million years would I guess that he would do something like this."

While residents admit they are having a tough time with making sense out of this tragedy, they understand a tragedy like this is hard, but are certain their faith will help them heal.

"It's just a time for people to come together and not judge anybody. As one of the sayings go, 'good always overcomes evil' and so we just need for that to help us now."

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