As reporters and camera crews swarmed over the Neosho square Monday, members of the area's tight-knit community of Pacific Islanders quietly gathered 10 miles to the south.
Filling benches outside a specialty market owned by slain preacher Kernal Rehobson, they mourned and prayed for Rehobson and two other men shot to death at a Sunday church service. They prayed for the men's families. They prayed for their accused killer.
"This is a new thing to us ... where we came from, there was no killing," said Kelson Rehobson, who lost his brother — Kernal Rehobson — and an uncle to Sunday's gunfire.
The man charged with their deaths, Eiken Elam Saimon, 52, is a cousin of Kernel Rehobson's mother. He, like those killed and wounded in Sunday's shooting, is an immigrant from Micronesia.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Murdered pastor's brother: "Where we came from, there was no killing"
The reactions of a stunned Micronesian community to the murder Sunday of three of its own at the First Congregational Church in Neosho is covered in an article in today's Springfield News-Leader: