Funeral service for victim of Louisa shooting ends peacefully

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

GORDONSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Funeral services began for the victims of the deadly Louisa shootings.

Mark Cooper Junior was buried Saturday in Gordonsville.

He was shot and killed by his uncle, Charles "Zeke" Sponaugle Junior.

Sponaugle also killed his own son before turning his gun on police.

Tempers flaring over a piece of property left to six family members.

And because of that law enforcement was on hand to make sure everything went smoothly.

And it did, Mark Cooper Junior's family was able to mourn its loss in peace.

Mark Cooper Senior now leaning on friends and family for support right before a somber service for his son.

Mark Cooper Junior, along with his cousin, Charlie Steadman Junior were shot and killed Sunday night in Zeke Sponaugle's shooting rampage that also wounded four relatives.

Louisa Sheriff's deputies arrived on scene and killed Sponaugle after he unloaded a .22 caliber pistol on them.

Saturday at Preddy Funeral Home, law enforcement, this time in the form of Gordonsville police officers and Orange County Sheriff's deputies, had a different job.

The delicate task of keeping the peace at a funeral.

The funeral home was very specific Saturday in requesting privacy for the family and not allowing any media on the property.

It is difficult to forget Mark Cooper Sr.'s heart wrenching account of watching his son die right before his very eyes.

"He (Zeke) walked up to his own son and shot him," said Cooper Sr. "Charlie was trying to get his breath. He said he can't breathe. My son was already dead. I walked over, touched his forehead, closed his eyes for him."

A final goodbye to the gunman's son, Charlie, is scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 at Louisa's New Life Community Church.

The cousins and friends will be buried side-by-side.

The Louisa Sheriff's Department will be keeping a close eye on that service, as well.

A private visitation for shooter Charles Sponaugle was held on Friday.

A service, followed by cremation is scheduled for Wednesday in Louisa.

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