South Spencer High School mourns loss of student as investigation goes on


SPENCER COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) As the man accused of killing a Spencer County teenager waits for his next court appearance, family and friends mourn their loss. 

Joseph Petry faces a murder charge for his role in last night’s shooting in Rockport.

He’s accused of killing Zane Lee, 18, who was a student at South Spencer High School.

Principal Jim Bush says people started finding out what happened to Lee last night, and it was a somber mood this morning when students returned to class. Meanwhile, Indiana State Police detectives are still trying to figure out what happened, and how Lee and Petry knew each other.

“Zane was a fine, young man. He’s going to be sorely missed here at the high school,” says Bush, who started hearing about what happened to lee from other teachers.

“A lot of people heard it over the scanners. Then social media started out. I received a few texts from some of the teachers and staff that work here,” he recalled.

When classes resumed this morning…

“You could tell that the kids were upset,” he said.

ISP Sergeant David Henderson says people heard at least two shots around 8:30 PM Wednesday near the intersection of 8th and Seminary Streets. Authorities tried life saving measures when they arrived. Petry was taken into custody at the scene. Sergeant Henderson says detectives still want answers on what happened before the shooting.

“Detectives will start doing background on any kind of relationship or how this came about and why it took such a tragic turn,” says Sgt. Henderson. He also says Petry faces one count of murder so far. Counselors were at the high school to help students. Bush says he offered Lee’s family help.

“I spoke to Zane’s brother this morning and he called in for mom. Mom is very upset. I talked to him for a few minutes and gave him our condolences,” says Bush.

Bush also says teachers talked with their students about what happened last night during the first class of the day.

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(This story was originally published on February 27, 2020)

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