Our community has been shaken this week by the murder of one of our own. Ethan Schmidt, a hometown kid, born and raised in Peabody, was shot and killed Monday morning in his office at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.
As I type this, the motive is unclear, the suspected killer has taken his own life, and Ethan is dead. His parents are by now in Cleveland to comfort their daughter-in-law and three grandchildren and to make arrangements for their son’s burial. Here in Peabody, our stunned grief, sorrow, and confusion is boundless. What a tragic end to a bright and promising career for an educator. What a sad day for our community and for Ethan’s family and many friends.
The national media has raised questions about the circumstances of his murder. As I said, the motive at this time is unclear. We may never know any more than we know now. To us, it does not matter.
There has been an outpouring of affection and admiration for Ethan on social media sites. I think his family will appreciate the comments of overwhelming sorrow, love, and respect that have been posted. He was quite a guy!
Not only are there posts about his doctoral thesis, teaching, and published books, but also stories of preschool activities, high school theatrical productions, sports, forensics, and tons of other memories. Honestly, if you have a memory to share about Ethan, my guess is that his family would love to hear it. Some of the best representations of the impact a person has had are the stories from people who were there.
Share your memories and thoughts, whether on a social media page or in a note to his family. Rest in peace, Ethan Schmidt — we love you!