BRYAN, Texas--A 62-year-old former member of the Worldwide Church of God who attended Ambassador College, Big Sandy, in the late 1960s died by his own hand May 7, 2007, after entering the First National Bank in Bryan with a handgun and firing several shots "in the air," according to news reports.
Eddie C. Holdren, a resident of College Station, Texas, who had mailed handwritten notes to news media and a congressman describing his financial frustrations, including multiple penalties for bounced checks levied on his account by the bank, also had written that he did not plan to shoot anyone.
He demanded to see the bank president and another employee, but both were not on the premises. He shouted a warning for employees and customers to leave. When police arrived, he fatally shot himself.
A friend of Mr. Holdren who said he "knew Eddie better than anyone," John Dickerson of Fayetteville, Ark., told The Journal that his friend was in poor health and suffered from the effects of drugs he had taken as prescribed treatment for bipolar disorder.
In 2004, Mr. Dickerson said, he and Mr. Holdren, a mid-1960s veteran of the Vietnam War, visited and "discussed Ambassador College days a lot, and old friends. However, he became increasingly bitter about life in general, the raw deal he had got and so on, increasingly negative."
Mr. Dickerson said the Texas attorney general "garnisheed [Mr. Holdren's] government disability check, then tacked on interest and produced an impossible situation for repayment. His monthly stipend barely kept him alive. Then recently the VA [Veterans' Administration] reduced his income, and the situation evidently became unbearable, plus the bipolar manic-depressive tendencies, so he just snapped."
Mr. Holdren owed child-support payments that had been past due for more than two decades. In one of his notes he mentioned that he had considered a "propane plan" to deal forcefully with "child support headquarters" but decided that "a Christian, even a bad one like me, wouldn't kill people."
"Amazingly," Mr. Dickerson told The Journal, "he did have a faith until the end. He told me over and over he just wanted to die and wake up when the Kingdom was here."
Mr. Holdren is survived by a grown son and daughter.