Local pastors conducted a spiritual cleansing ceremony Thursday evening at a Frederickson day care center, where a man who gunned down a Tacoma teacher died last week.
The Moment of Blessing ceremony was held 6 p.m. at the parking lot of Discovery Station Child Care, 16001 56th Ave. Court E. About thirty staff workers, parents and children huddled in a tight circle, so they could hear one another’s prayers above the roar of traffic.
Shellie Guirsch, who owns the day care, requested the Moment of Blessing.
“It’s a reclaiming, for our staff and our families,” Guirsch said, adding that the ritual was a way to allay the fears of parents and children. After the incident, “we had kids afraid to walk across the parking lot.”
On Feb. 26, a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy confronted Jed R. Waits, 30, in the parking lot after Waits shot and killed Jennifer Paulson, 30. The deputy and Waits fired their weapons; Waits died of a gunshot wound to the head.
At the time of the shooting, five day care workers were on duty, with 25 children, Guirsch said.
On Monday, Associated Ministries members performed a Moment of Blessing ceremony for Paulson at Birney Elementary School.