Community Reverberations; State Coverup
The church was polarized by the incident. Whereas many of the eyewitnesses expressed shock and outrage over the police behavior, many having initially believed the police used stun guns rather than real bullets; the church leadership sided with the police, dismissing eyewitnesses accounts and dehumanizing the victim.
Woody's family and friends were shocked and mortified. Known to all as the gentlest of people who would never hurt anyone, it was unconceivable that Woody met with such a violent death. Woody's friends immediately began to call for an impartial investigation, and formed Justice for Woody . Within months of the shooting, two of the grandparents Woody had cared for had died, and Woody's father was hospitalized for heart failure.