[Diocese of Western Louisiana] West Louisiana Bishop Jacob Owensby issued the following statement in response to the deadly October 17 shooting at Grambling State University. One person was killed and seven were injured.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, gunfire was heard in the fourth quarter of Grambling State University in the middle of a celebration of returning home.
At the time of writing, one person has died, one is in hospital with severe injuries, and five have received life-threatening injuries. This is the second deadly shooting on this historic campus in a week. Officials note that the perpetrators of this violence were neither students nor university staff.
My heart is broken for the victims, for their families, for the members of our own Episcopal Chapel of St. Luke and for the whole Grambling community. My prayers rise for all of them. And I emphasize that true prayer must also inspire action.
Join me in praying for eternal peace for the dead, healing the wounded, comfort for those who mourn, and repentance for the attackers. Join me in calling on our elected officials, the leaders of our community and each of us individually to do what is needed to end the epidemic: violence, especially violence.
The roots of violence are innumerable. And while personal responsibility is always a dimension of human things, so are the circumstances in which we make decisions. We need to dedicate resources to the development of our small communities like Grambling. And we need common sense and effective gun regulations across our country.
Love is our greatest calling as human beings. Whether we are a victim or a perpetrator, violence humiliates our humanity. You don’t have to be a Christian like me to hear the truth in what Jesus taught in his life.
Some who are reading this may need a map to find Grambling. Others will quickly recognize the name of this famous historically black university. For me, it is a community of people that I began to love and admire.
So, yes, the violence in Grambling is for me personally. Maybe it’s high time we took all the violence, anywhere, personally. That’s what love does. And love is the only power that can end violence.