The district coroner and the district have both confirmed that a principal who works in Dillon County School District Four was killed in a shooting over the weekend.
Contact was made on Southwind Road in the Dillon area, which is about 60 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach, on Saturday night, August 20, according to the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office. According to the WMBF, Cook’s body was found at the scene of the incident.
The manner of her death was also determined to be manslaughter. After her death, some of her family and associates paid tribute to her in various ways.
Who Was Wendy Cook? a tribute to her life and career
On Monday, the school system posted an announcement on its Facebook page with Cook’s name, a picture of him and his title. Wendy was a popular elementary school administrator at Stewart Heights Elementary School in South Carolina. She was famous for bringing her vibrant personality to her profession, earning her the respect of her students and community.
Molly Spearman, the state’s principal, issued a statement late Monday night expressing her “sorrow” at Cook’s death.
It was noted by Spearman that “her colleagues and staff at Dillon County School District 4 had nothing but praise for the way she ran the school and the various positive impacts she had on the faculty and the children . As everyone in the Dillon school community mourns this loss, please accept my deepest condolences.”
Just days before filming, Cook was preparing for a new school year at Stewart Heights, scheduled to begin August 15, 2022, and that day the students reported for their first day of class. She said in a letter to parents sent out earlier this month as part of preparations for the start of school: “I hope you’ve had a pleasant and relaxing summer.”
Additionally, Cook’s funeral will be held tomorrow (Wednesday, August 24, 2022) at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at the Cooper Funeral Home in Dillon.
Wendy Cook, the principal of a South Carolina elementary school, was killed in a shooting
Cook was allegedly murdered early Sunday morning, August 21, 2022, at the property he shared with his mother on Southwind Road, about two miles south of Dillon.
After being charged with murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime, he is currently being held at the Dillon County Detention Center in South Carolina for a hearing before a South Carolina District Court Judge.
Like anyone else accused of a crime, the church is presumed innocent until the criminal justice system returns a verdict that finds them guilty. His attorney for South Carolina’s Fourth Circuit, William B. Rogers Jr., will be the one to bring his case to court, which is expected to garner a significant amount of national attention.
Dillon County Sheriff’s Office deputies say Cook and Church were friendly with one another. The extent of their relationship has not been covered, nor is there a plausible explanation as to why the victim was killed.
In addition, there are rumors that Cook and Church had a love affair in the past. While the early days of their relationship are still the subject of rumors, the abrupt breakup of their romance made headlines outside of this community of 6,200 near the North Carolina border and off Interstate 95.
Kyle Church’s arrest is linked to the death of Wendy Cook
According to Dillon County Sheriff Douglas Pernell, officers were dispatched to an address on Southwind Road near Dillon around 3:15 a.m. Sunday, where Kyle Church was subsequently taken into custody. Very little information is currently available about him other than the fact that he is 31 years old.
Kyle Church was taken into custody in connection with the fatal shooting of Cook.
Likewise, it is alleged that he was in possession of a weapon at the time of committing a violent crime; Still, the motivation behind Wendy’s murder is a mystery.
However, the court’s final decision has not yet been released to the public. If a jury found him responsible for the death of the South Carolina elementary school principal, he would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Court date for Kyle Church
A first court appearance was held for Kyle Church, 31, on Monday afternoon. He is charged with murder and possession of weapons during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the death of a woman, which occurred early Sunday morning at a flat on Southwind Road, just outside Dillon.
Dillon County Magistrate Andrew Bethea sued Church on the charges, but he did not schedule a hearing on Church’s bail.
Andrew explained to Church that he was unable to establish bail for murder and that a judge in the South Carolina District Court must do so instead. Church said yes and said he understood.
Dillon County Sheriff Douglas Pernell stated that the woman was shot dead and that Church and the victim knew each other.
According to Dillon County Coroner Donnie Grimsley, the deceased was identified as Wendy Cook. According to him, the results of the autopsy proved that she had died from a gunshot wound and he concluded that she had been the victim of homicide.
No information about the killer’s motivation was released.
The victim was identified as a student in Dillon County School District 4, which has been confirmed.
There is a message on the district’s Facebook page that reads:
“Honoring the life and work of Dr. Wendy Cook, Stewart Heights Elementary School principal.”
Ray Rogers, the superintendent for Dillon School District 4, explained that Monday they had additional advisors and administrators at the school to ensure the safety and comfort of students, teachers and other staff.
“Today I walked to school. They are very aware of their presence, to tell the truth. And this is a structure. The children entered the house as quietly as they could. And not being fully aware of what was taking place. However, they concentrated on the work they and the other teachers had given them and there was silence in the hallways. Either way, they were well organized and priceless,” added Rogers.
He stated Cook had been with the district for almost 25 years and had everyone’s affection.
“Just in shock. You shouldn’t believe that. Having an awareness of how dynamic she was as an administrator. And a lively person. How much she adores her children. How she has worked with the Stewart Heights community, particularly with the families and educators. Put simply, it was unfathomable. Please pray for us. Because we already had a lot on our plates. The possibilities are many and you should pray for the well-being of the family. Because they’re in a panic. And they need all the support and prayers that can be offered,” added Rogers.
The following is a statement issued by State Superintendent Molly Spearman:
“The news of the passing of Dr. Wendy Cook, Principal of Stewart Heights Elementary School left me in a state of deep sorrow. Her staff and friends at Dillon County School District 4 often praise the excellent job she has done as principal at her school and the many positive impacts she has had on both faculty and students. As a member of the Dillon school community, accept my heartfelt condolences at this difficult time. Church’s first appearance hearing was attended by relatives of Cook’s family, who appeared overcome with emotion.”
The defendant, Kyle Church, is shown in court.
A family member often wiped tears from her eyes.
Church is expected to appear in court again on Oct. 5, according to public court documents available online.
The Dillon County Detention Center was converted into a church for the day.