BAXTER SPRINGS - On Sept. 30, a nightmarish situation unfolded in an incendiary attack that took the life of one Baxter Springs woman and injured three local law enforcement officers, leaving one hospitalized with severe burns on 29 percent of his body. In such a tight-knit community, a tragedy as awful as this is felt by all.

The evening of Oct. 4, a prayer vigil was held across the street from the Baxter Springs Police Department for the injured officers, their families, and the family of Sharon Horn. Horn, 65, of Baxter Springs, passed away just before 7 a.m. on Sept. 30, at a Springfield hospital. Her injuries were obtained after a man entered her home and began assaulting her, ultimately setting her and two Baxter Springs Police Officers on fire. As a third officer arrived and attempted to extinguish the fire, he too sustained injuries, along with the suspect.

One of the officers injured, Jimmy Hamilton, remains in care at a Springfield, Missouri, hospital. The two other officers, Justin Butler and Darryl Nadeau, were treated at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, and released. Both have since returned to active duty with police force. Officer Hamilton suffered substantial burns all over his body. A Facebook page, 'Prayers for Jimmy', has been set up by his family to keep friends and concerned community members updated on his road to recovery.

The Baxter Springs Police Department has announced an account set up at American Bank for Officer Hamilton. Donations can be done at any American Bank located in Baxter Springs, Galena or Columbus, and the money will go directly to Officer Hamilton's family.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 'Barbecue for the Blue Benefit' will be in the Marvin's IGA parking lot raising money and accepting donations. The meats will be smoked by Mike Kliewer and Sheldon Bales. There will be BBQ Pulled pork Sandwiches, bag of Chips, and a can of soda pop for $5, will all proceeds going to Officer Hamilton's family. More information can be found on the Facebook event page: 'Barbecue for the Blue Benefit'.

A Benefit Softball Tournament for Officer Hamilton is being planned for Oct. 21, at the 19th Street Ball Fields. Contact Corie Brown for more details at 620-202-0720.