Dowagiac residents react to teen suicide near middle school - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Dowagiac residents react to teen suicide near middle school

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Monday's news has been quite troubling to people in Dowagiac. Many people were sad to hear a teenager took his life near a school and they were surprised that it happened in their small town.

"It surprised me because nothing really happens in Dowagiac," said Dowagiac High School student Christian Bryant.

News that Darren James Price, 13, committed suicide near Dowagiac Middle School came as a big shock to many. Not only are neighbors concerned about the safety of children in the small city now, but there are also unanswered questions swirling through town.

"For children to be getting a hold of guns still I just don't understand how or why that could happen," said Laura Slavings, a Dowagiac resident.

Even those who did not know the teenager say it is hard to hear about what happened.

"My heart broke," said Rita Leason, a Dowagiac mother of two. "I could think of all the other parents. I have a nephew who goes [to the middle school] and my best friend has her nephew up there too. All I could think of is his parents, family and friends."

While many wonder how something like this could happen in Dowagiac, other are not as surprised.

"[I'm not surprised] it's sad to say, but no, especially in the world we live in today," said Danielle Lott.

Residents say it has become clear tragedy can strike anywhere and now they worry about the future. They say when students go back to school Tuesday it will be a long emotional day for the children; Whether they knew Price or not.

"Knowing someone your own age, when you're 14 years old and in middle school, you don't think of ever saying goodbye to them, to your friends," said Slavings. "[You think] you're friends will always be there and that's not so."

When classes will resume at Dowagiac Middle School there will be extra security and counselors will be on hand.

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