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Lake Butler Church helps grieving community

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Updated: 8/26/2013 12:58 pm
LAKE BUTLER, Fla. -- The First Christian church is serving as a lifeline for a grief-stricken community, still in shock after Saturday morning's mass shooting.

Almost everyone in Lake Butler either grew up with Marvin Pritchett, worked for him, or just new him through his constant outreach to the community. 

Friends say he was a successful businessman who had a soft heart for helping others in need.

"He loved to cook, he loved to feed people and about once a month he would throw a lunch together for all the drivers, all the dispatch people, everyone at the work," said Bill Thomas, a former employee. 

That was more than 400 people. Then there were thousands more in the Fall for Pritchett's big festival held right on his farm. Many say it was a fun event for the entire family that just won't be the same this year. 

"Supplied all the food and hayrides. He had the big tractors for the kids to ride on, just a good man all around," said Don Kelly, a long time friend of Pritchett.

Kelly has known Pritchett since grade school and tells Action News he also knows the other two victims, Lewis Mabrey Junior who is recovering and David Griffis who is still fighting for his life. 

"It just doesn't stand a reason," said Kelly.

He says he knew the shooter Hubert Allen Junior and heard he hadn't been doing so well. 

"He had been sick and left work as far as I understand," he said.

Still, many can't come to grips with such a senseless act.
Whats worse, Action News has learned that Pritchett's family just dealt with another tragedy.

"His wife just lost her sister two weeks and in two weeks now she's lost her husband," said a family friend, Marian Griffis.

Friends say this community now needs prayer more than ever.
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