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High School Crush Prompts Fatal Shooting at Wedding

August 6, 1991

PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ Sherry Ann Korando never forgot the boy who was nice to her when she was in high school.

Though she apparently never dated him, Korando, 25, often talked about Jeff Flentge. She had known him at Perryville High School, where she was a loner who was in classes for those with learning disabilities.

On Saturday, Korando showed up uninvited at Flentge’s wedding. Armed with her father’s handgun, she rose from a center pew and fired one shot at the ceiling of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and another at the wedding party. No one was struck.

She then ran into the parking lot and fatally shot herself in the head.

Investigators found a yearbook photo of Flentge in her billfold.

″He was nice to her in high school when some of the others weren’t,″ said Rev. J. Edward Wilson, the priest at Flentge’s wedding. ″Apparently she remembered that. Her mother told me she always talked a lot about Jeff.″

Before the shooting, Korando wrote a letter to her parents, telling them that if she survived she didn’t want hospitals using life-support measures to keep her alive, her family said. Details of the letter were not released.

Flentge told authorities that he had received a threatening call the night before the ceremony warning that his marriage would never happen.

Authorities were reviewing a wedding videotape to determine if Korando said anything before shooting.

Wilson said Flentge, 25, told him that he knew Korando in high school and talked to her occasionally. The bride, Deena Petot, 25, was in the same class.

Flentge, who was out of town on his honeymoon and could not immediately be reached for comment, told police he never dated Korando.

″I wouldn’t describe it as anything more than a typical high school crush, a more one-sided one where she was the only one who knew about it and he didn’t″ police Maj. William Jones said.

Korando, a cleaning woman at an animal hospital, lived with her parents in this town of 7,500 about 65 miles south of St. Louis. Family and co-workers described her as cheerful but quiet.

Her father, Allen, said he didn’t know much about his daughter.

″She was more of a close individual who kept to herself,″ he said. ″She didn’t say much. She was an ordinary girl.″

Roy Pohlman, who attended high school the same years, remembered Korando as a girl who sang in the choir, was in a class for students with learning disabilities and had few friends.

Flentge and Petot were exchanging vows Saturday when Korando began firing.

″I thought one of the kneelers had fallen till I saw her in the aisle with a gun in her hand,″ the priest said. Flentge then looked around, saw Korando and said, ″Let’s get out of here 3/8″ Wilson recalled.

The wedding continued about 90 minutes later.

The bride’s grandmother Flora Petot, 86, suffered an apparent heart attack at the reception and later died. Police said the shock of the shooting may have led to her death.