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Three people died in a shooting in Danville Friday morning, and two of them were previously involved in ministry at Woodlawn Baptist Church.
Mike and Angela Hockensmith were members of Woodlawn a few years ago when Mike served as the youth minister at church. He recently became the youth minister at Mitchellsburg Baptist Church in Boyle County.
Angela was 38. Mike was 35.
“They are good, good Christian people,” said Lee Ann Divine, who also attends Mitchellsburg Baptist. “They were wonderful parents. You couldn’t ask for two nicer people.”
The third victim was Daniel P. Smith, 60, of Richmond.
Divine (former Glasscock Elementary principal) and her family’s connections with the Hockensmiths extend beyond church, however. Divine’s husband, Steve, and Mike Hockensmith were the co-owners of the store, ABC Gold, Games and More, where the shooting occurred. Divine said her husband normally goes to the store daily. Friday, however, his allergies had been bothering him, and he decided to stay home after taking some medicine.
She said when she heard about the shooting, it took a few tries before she was able to reach her husband. She added that she went to Danville to make sure someone was looking after the Hockensmiths’ children.
The Danville Advocate-Messenger reported that the children are 9 years old and 14 months old. The Danville paper also reported that a 9-year-old called 911 after the shooting.
Divine said the 9-year-old is home-schooled, but the family was hosting a foreign exchange student who is attending Lincoln County High School.
The Hockensmiths children were taken to child protective services, and Divine said she stayed with them Friday to make sure they were okay. She added that the children’s grandparents had been contacted.
Divine said Mike Hockensmith was a wonderful minister.
“He was just like a youth magnet,” she said. “He could act like a teenager himself.”
Divine added that both of her sons had attended youth ministry activities with Mike.
She continued to say that her oldest son, Brooks, had worked in the pawn shop over the summer. (Brooks was a two-time state champion pole vaulter at Marion County High School, and he is now a track athlete at the University of Kentucky.)
She said the tragedy of the shooting would probably sink in more at church where the Hockensmiths absence would be felt.
“Two beautiful children lost their parents,” Divine said.
Jerry Albertson, the chairman of the deacons at Woodlawn Baptist, said the Hockensmiths were both involved with the youth in the church during their time at Woodlawn.
He added that Mike Hockensmith would sometimes preach during Sundays when the pastor was not present, and Angela Hockensmith would sometimes sing special music during services.
“She had a real nice, pretty voice,” Albertson said.
Hearing about their deaths was a shock, according to Albertson.
“They were very godly people,” he said. “Loved the Lord. Loved the youth.”
Divine said the church has established a memorial fund for the family.
Donations can be made at PNC Bank in Danville or at First Southern Bank in Stanford.
Police seeking information on shooter
From the Lexington Herald-Leader
Danville police are seeking information about the suspect in Friday's triple homicide. The suspect has been identified as a heavyset white man, 40 to 50 years old, with a pot belly. He was wearing a green camouflage jacket. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire Arms has offered a $10,000 reward. People with information should call Danville police at (859) 238-1220.
Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission through the Kentucky Press News Service.