By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – Clergy and other counselors convened early Tuesday morning at New Albany schools to deal with the emotional aftermath from Monday night’s murder of a school speech pathologist and the wounding of her football-coach husband.
Amanda Price, 31, died at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County after being shot once in the chest when she stepped into her backyard about 10 p.m. Ron Price, her husband of nearly 10 years, heard her screams and was also shot when he ran to her aid. He was treated for a gunshot wound and was released Tuesday morning.
Folks who knew Amanda Price well remembered her as a Christian woman, a loving wife and mother, a compassionate educator and more.
“She was a fine Christian lady, a godly example. She was always an encourager,” said Kyra Cossey, whose husband, Jay, is Amanda Price’s brother. “She loved her family dearly, enjoyed spending time with them. She has a precious little 3-year-old girl.”
Cossey said Amanda Price was “always positive,” a constant encourager and eager to get to know students far outside the circle of those whose communication disorders she helped mitigate.
“They would be the ones buying clothing or books for students who needed them or just sharing a meal,” said Heather Linville, assistant principal at New Albany Elementary and a close friend. “That was their daily life, not just an occasional thing.”
Price was supportive of her husband’s job, including the “crazy schedule,” Cossey said. “She knew all the kids on the team, and they knew her.”
Dr. Charles Garrett, superintendent of New Albany schools, said, “Mrs. Price was an outstanding Christian role model for all of the girls in our school district. Many of them made note of that. She was loved by everybody.”
“She was an excellent person, an excellent educator,” added Assistant Superintendent Jackie Ford. “I don’t think you could find anybody who would say anything bad about Amanda Price.”
Price was an active member of Junior Auxiliary and at Hillcrest Baptist Church, where she and her husband helped with youth groups and children’s ministry.
Union County Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford, a family friend, said they were a model family.
“They are simply wonderful people,” she said.
Neighbor Bobby White agreed, heaping praise on Ron Price as a role model for young men.
“He’s a great football coach and an even better man,” he said.
Within a stone’s throw of the Prices’ home on Murrah Street are woods, a horse pasture, a field still boasting blooming goldenrod and an assortment of houses, from upper-middle-class ones with expansive lawns to a mobile home park that abuts some of those self-same estates.
While some neighbors describe the neighborhood as typically quiet, Kay Boatner said lights-and-sirens chases are frequent on the street, which becomes a twisting county road not far south of the Price house.
“They use this street to try to get away from the cops,” said Kay Boatner, who lives a short distance to the north.
“Somebody broke into this house (next door) last year during the Fourth of July celebration when everybody was downtown,” she said.
White said his house was broken into about a year ago, with the perpetrator traced to the trailer park that abuts his property.
Paul Tate, another neighbor, told police that two vehicles in his driveway were ransacked Monday night as he watched television a few feet away in his living room.
Boatner said the emotional impact of Monday’s shooting is heavy.
“It’s awful. Robbery’s one thing, but killing somebody? Ohhh,” she sighed, shaking her head. “I’ve thought about moving, but it’s getting this way everywhere.”
Kyra Cossey said the tragedy of Amanda Price’s death is difficult for everyone involved. While she spent Tuesday with her own family, she kept tabs on the impact among her students.
“I’m worried about my kids at school,” she said. “But I think they did a great job today with my big kids.”
Cossey said Amanda Price’s family members take comfort in believing she is now in heaven.
“If this brings others to that reality as well,” she said, “then we know that would please her.”
“Above all,” Linville added, “Amanda has left a godly legacy.”
Visitation will be tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. at Hillcrest Baptist Church on Highway 15 in New Albany. Her funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Hillcrest.