Greeneville High School students gathered Wednesday night at a prayer vigil for 16-year-old student Teagan Welch, who was shot Monday in White Pine during what police call a child custody exchange.
Welch’s stepfather, 58-year-old Kenny Cook, pastor at the Mosheim Church of God, was also shot. Another man, 47-year-old Christopher Ray Welch, 47, of Harriman, died at the scene.
The circumstances of the encounter remain under investigation. The teenager and Cook were both listed Wednesday in critical condition at University of Tennessee Medical Center.
A school official said Thursday morning school administration and Band Director Brooke Williams organized the prayer vigil at the high school for Teagan and her family. More than 100 students attended the vigil, WVLT in Knoxville reported.
Teagan, a junior at Greeneville High School, is a member of the high school band and bowling team. Counselors were to be available Thursday at the high school for students.
White Pine police in Jefferson County have not formally released the names of Rev. Kenny Cook and Teagan Welch as the shooting victims. WVLT first reported their identities based on interviews with members of Mosheim Church of God.
Police received word of a shooting about 3:45 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of a Pilot Travel Center on Roy Messer Highway, off I-81 Exit 4 in Jefferson County.
Police found three people had been shot. Christopher Ray Welch, 47, of Harriman, in Roane County, was pronounced dead at the scene. White Pine police Chief Chad Cotter Wednesday confirmed Welch as the man who died.
Cotter said the shootings happened in the front parking lot area of the Pilot Travel Center just off I-81 in a section reserved for cars.
“We’re confident it was a domestic situation. It was a child custody swap,” Cotter said.
A fourth person present was not injured.
Cook has served as pastor of the Mosheim Church of God since June 2018, coming to Greene County from Cleveland, Tennessee.