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Vigil planned for slain Shepherd University students

September 06, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 9 p.m. at Shepherd University in memory of two students who died Saturday after they were shot in a campus parking lot by their father, who then shot himself.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, the vigil for brothers Logan P. Pennington, 26, and Benjamin M. Pennington, 24, will be at the Midway on the East Campus near the football stadium, university spokesperson Valerie Owens said.

Viewing hours at Schaeffer Funeral Home at 11 N. Main St., Petersburg, W.Va., will be from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, according to the university. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

On Tuesday, West Virginia State Police Trooper K.W. Martin reviewed the contents of the students' dorm room with family members in an attempt to determine if any "precursor" evidence, such as a journal or diary, would help explain the motive of their father, Douglas Pennington, Sgt. E.D. Anderson said.

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Police also are reviewing any communications over the last several months between the father and his sons, Anderson said.

Douglas Pennington, 49, died from a .38-caliber revolver gunshot wound to the chest, police said.

His sons' cause of death was not immediately known Tuesday, but they reportedly were shot multiple times, Anderson said.

"There's several things pending, the motive being the biggest one," Anderson said.

Investigators hope to match recovered evidence with eyewitness accounts of the shooting. Toxicology reports for the three men are expected to be completed by next week.

Anderson said the students' mother was hospitalized after learning of the shooting.

Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, should be sent in care of The Pennington Family, HC 72, Box 7250, Scherr, WV, 26426. Checks should be written to Mary Pennington.

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