Amish bury fifth girl slain in school attack

Associated Press/October 7, 2006

Georgetown, Pennsylvania -- Under a cold, steady drizzle, the Amish drove in horse and buggy to a farmland cemetery yesterday to bury the fifth of five girls shot dead by an intruder as details emerged of heroism in their schoolhouse.

Two survivors of the shooting told their parents 13-year-old Marian Fisher, one of the slain girls, asked to be shot first, apparently hoping the younger girls would be let go, said Leroy Zook, an Amish dairy farmer.

"Shoot me and leave the other ones loose," Marian has been quoted as saying, Zook reported.

His daughter, Emma Mae Zook, was the teacher who ran from the schoolhouse to a farm to summon police.

Amish builder David Lapp said Marian's younger sister, Barbie, who is recovering from gunshot wounds, provided one of the accounts.

"Her sister remembers it, Barbie," Lapp said.

Parents of two of the surviving victims also have told Leroy Zook the children questioned Charles Carl Roberts after the adults left.

"They just asked him why he's doing this. He said he's angry with God," Zook said.

Yesterday, more than 40 buggies splashed along country roads behind a funeral-home car, two mounted state troopers and a carriage with the body of 12-year-old Anna Mae Stoltzfus in a hand-sawn wooden coffin.

Four other girls killed during Monday's shootings, two of them sisters, were laid to rest Thursday at the same hilltop graveyard.

All roads into Nickel Mines village were again blocked and the funeral procession, like those Thursday, passed the home of Roberts, the 32-year-old milk truck driver who took the 10 girls, ages six to 13, hostage, tied them up and shot them before killing himself.

One surviving girl was reported to be in grave condition. The county coroner said he had been told she was being taken off life support, but her location was not known yesterday. The four other girls remain in hospital.

Funerals for Fisher, 13, Naomi Rose Ebersol, 7, and sisters Mary Liz Miller, 8, and Lena Miller, 7, were held Thursday.

Details also emerged yesterday about the scene outside the schoolhouse.

Lapp said he was told there was a gunman at the school and arrived before police, stopping a few hundred metres from the school.

"It was a feeling of helplessness," Lapp said.

He saw the boys in the school escape through a side door, jump a fence and huddle together in a meadow. Lapp then saw police storm the building.

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