LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. – Several hundred people attended a funeral Mass on Saturday for an assistant principal who was killed as administrators tried to wrestle a gun away from a student.
Ken Bruce, 48, was respected by students, said Campbell County Sheriff Ron McClelland.
"Children loved him. He wasn't the type to intimidate kids or anything," McClelland said. "They knew they could come to him with anything."
Following the service at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, more than 1,000 teachers lined the route to a nearby cemetery to pay their respects.
Authorities said Tuesday's shooting at the 1,400-student Campbell County Comprehensive High School began when Ken Bartley Jr., a 15-year-old freshman, was called to the office because other students had seen him with a gun on campus.
When Bruce, Principal Gary Seale and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce began questioning the boy, he allegedly opened fire. The administrators and an unidentified teacher wrestled the .22-caliber pistol from him.
Bruce, 48, was shot in the chest and died at a hospital. Seale, 55, was shot in the lower abdomen and Pierce, 56, was hit in the chest; both remain hospitalized.
Bartley was being held without bail. District Attorney Paul Phillips wants to try him as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder.