Stretching out along the banks of the St. John’s River, the Episcopal School of Jacksonville is where the city’s elite send their children for academic success steeped in spirituality, the New York Times reports. Teachers are handpicked and stay seemingly forever. The head of school, Dale Regan, a onetime English teacher, hugged children in the hallways and was in the habit of handing out river stones with messages — love, hope, patience — for those grappling with a problem. Stately, without pretension, the school grounds — with rambling athletic fields, a student center and theater — doubled as a second home to the students. That sense of tranquil tradition was shattered on Tuesday, when Shane Schumerth, a Spanish teacher who had been fired that morning, returned to the head of school’s office, pulled an AK-47 assault rifle from a guitar case and killed Ms. Regan and himself. In the aftermath, no one has been able to explain the violent actions of the shy 28-year-old teacher who grew up in small-town Indiana, attended a prep school where his father taught and was part of a large, loving, intellectually curious and socially conscious family…

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staff and wire services reports