Words cannot describe the horror Central Iowans felt when they first heard about the senseless killing of Aplington-Parkersburg Football Coach Ed Thomas Wednesday morning.
Thomas was shot multiple times in the head at close range by a gunman who is in custody at the Butler County Jail.
The incident occurred in Aplington-Parkersburg High School weight room .
Thomas was supervising about 50 students who were utilizing the newly constructed facility that was built after last year's devastating tornado that hit Parkersburg.
Thomas had been coach at the school since the early 80's and had amassed nearly 300 victories in his football coaching career which had produced several Division I and NFL players.
Thomas helped spearhead the efforts to rebuild the town and the school after the deadly tornado ripped through the community last year.
The renowned coach and his team were even the subject of an ESPN documentary that featured the massive efforts of the coach, team and townspeople to get the field and players ready for last year's football season under such adverse conditions after the tornado. The rebuilt field was named after Thomas.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Thomas' family and to the Aplington-Parkersburg communities.
It is our hope that the person responsible for this pointless act of violence is prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that authorities everywhere examine ways to make schools and public places safer in order to prevent mindless shootings such as this from ever reoccurring.