Families began saying goodbye on Tuesday to the five victims who died during a gunman’s shooting spree in eastern Kentucky over the weekend.
Police say 47-year-old Stanley Neace fatally shot his wife, Sandra Neace, and four others on Saturday in Breathitt County before turning his shotgun on himself. Neighbors have said Neace became enraged over the way his breakfast was cooked.
A funeral service for 28-yearold Sandra Rachel Strong, Sandra Neace’s daughter, was being held on Tuesday at Watts Funeral Home in Jackson.
WKYT-TV in Lexington reports that a double service at Watts Funeral Home will be held Wednesday for victims Teresa Fugate and Dennis Turner. Their visitations are scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
A visitation for 40-year-old Tammy Kilborn was being held at Deaton Funeral home in Jackson on Tuesday evening. The news station reports that Sandra Neace will be cremated, and family members have not planned a public service.
Records at the Breathitt County Clerk’s office show that Neace was charged in 1993 with two felony counts of sodomy involving a child. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of third degree sexual abuse in 1998.
The news station also reported that one of the victims, Teresa Fugate, appeared this year on an episode of “American Idol” that focused on disadvantaged children. Fugate was featured in a segment along with her children in the trailer home where Fugate was fatally shot on Saturday.
The episode, called “Idol Gives Back,” aired in April.
Fugate’s family was highlighted through Save The Children, a nonprofit organization focused on helping disadvantaged kids. Actress Jennifer Garner visited the family as part of the episode.
A memorial fund for Strong’s three children has been set up at First National Bank in Jackson.
Sherri Anne Robinson, a relative of two of the victims, said Neace was furious because his eggs were cold. But County Sheriff Ray Clemons and Kentucky State Police spokesman Tony Watts said detectives were still trying to nail down what prompted Neace’s rampage.
Trailer park resident Robert Collins said neighbors and a police officer told him Neace snapped over how his wife cooked eggs — but that doesn’t “justify killing five people,” he said.
“That’s a big price to pay,” said Collins, who lives at the front end of the trailer court.
Landlord Ray Rastegar said Neace received monthly disability checks from the Social Security Administration, though he didn’t know what his disability was. Rastegar said he had begun the process of evicting Neace, who had lived in the trailer park for about seven years, because he had become more hostile toward neighbors in recent months.
“He was unpredictable,” Rastegar said. “Little things would set him off .”
The sheriff had known Neace for years and said he was not violent.
“He was a little hot sometimes, but we never had any major problems,” Clemons said. “Nothing like this.”
Collins said Neace was a good neighbor over the past few years, but he had suspected for a while that something had gone wrong in Neace’s life.
“I thought maybe Stanley would have killed himself, maybe his wife,” Collins said.
He also recalled Fugate, who lived directly behind him with her four children, as “a wonderful mother.”
“I don’t know what they’d do without her,” Collins said.