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Hundreds attend vigil Monday, for Columbia Public School employee killed in East Tennessee shooting

Watch the vigil replay in the player below.


The Rock Bridge High School community hosted a vigil Monday night at the Rock Bridge High School Stadium from 7 to 8 p.m. to honor Michael Monroe Woods, Jr. of Columbia, a RBHS home school communicator.

Hundreds attended the vigil.

"Mr. Woods was a friend to us all. He could always be counted on as a confidant, a problem-solver, a “kids first” guy," said Rock Bridge Principal Jacob Sirna. "His laugh would light up a room, and the many things he did to support Bruins and their families were often the foundation of what made students show up to school and be successful."

Many people spoke about the impact Woods made on the community, and described him more as family then a teacher.

"He was a father figure to me when my own parents didn't want to be a father figure," a student said.

According to a release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, around 6 p.m. on Friday, emergency personnel found 55-year-old Woods Jr. dead in the bathroom of the I-24 eastbound rest area near mile marker 160.

Investigators identified his son, 30-year-old Micah McElmurry of Decatur, Ill. as the individual responsible for the shooting.

McElmurry, has been charged with shooting his father, Woods Jr. inside a rest area off the interstate.

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