On October 2, Charles Carl Roberts entered a one-room Amish schoolhouse and took ten girls hostage. An hour later, Roberts killed five of his hostages and then killed himself.
From the start, these school killings stood out from other such attacks: The killer, first of all, was an adult, not a student; and then there was the irony of the Amish, a pacifist community that resists what it regards as the contagions of modernity, falling victim to a very modern kind of violence.
Most remarkable is what happened in the schoolhouse itself. Thirteen-year-old Marian Fisher, one of the Amish girls held captive, displayed Christ-like love: She offered to lay her life down for her friends, reportedly telling her would-be killer, "Shoot me and leave the other ones loose!"