RIPLEY, Miss. (WTVA) - The community of Ripley is mourning the loss of two children who passed away within days of each other.
At noon on Wednesday, students at Ripley Middle School were released to attend both funerals being held in the afternoon.
One student, an 11-year-old, died on October 2 after an accidental shooting. A relative confirmed the fifth grader is Aquwavius De’Jon Clemmer.
Another student, 13-year-old Jacob Brown died on October 7 in a four-wheeler accident. Tippah County Coroner Chris McCallister says the ATV flipped over the student.
Classmates who attended Brown’s funeral say he was a funny kid who was on his school’s archery team.
“It just breaks my heart,” said Gill Capshaw, who attended the funeral. “My son, it could have very well have been him. Thank God it wasn’t. I hate for the family to have to go through what they are.”
Both losses are hitting the community hard.
“Everybody’s pretty close knit, everybody knows everyone," said Gary Barnes, who grew up in Ripley. "They let all the kids early today to go to the funerals. It’s pretty messed up. Everybody’s pretty devastated.”
WTVA's Rebecca Butcher will have reports throughout the day on WTVA 9 News and online at WTVA.com.