JK Rowling Reaches Out to Survivor of Family Shooting

Texas teen Cassidy Stay quoted Dumbledore at her family's memorial service

By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 7, 2014 2:00 AM CDT | Updated Aug 7, 2014 3:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Cassidy Stay, the Texas teen who made headlines in July when she became the sole survivor of a family massacre that left her parents and four younger siblings dead, quoted a Harry Potter novel at her family's memorial service: "In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore says, 'Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.'" Now, Harry Potter author JK Rowling has reached out to Cassidy with a letter and package, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The letter is handwritten in purple ink in the style of Dumbledore, according to the Telegraph, while the package includes a signed copy of the book she quoted, a wand, an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, and a list of supplies needed for the famous school. Cassidy lost her father Stephen, mother Katie, brothers Bryan and Zach, and sisters Emily and Rebecca. She played dead after a bullet deflected off her finger and grazed her skull and managed to alert authorities that the ex-husband of her mother's sister was the gunman and was on his way to kill her grandparents. Authorities credit Cassidy with helping them stop the shooter before he reached the grandparents. (Stay, meanwhile, is expected to make a full recovery.)

Cassidy Stay, center, is comforted as she watches the caskets of her family be loaded into waiting hearses outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 16, 2014, in Houston.
Cassidy Stay, center, is comforted as she watches the caskets of her family be loaded into waiting hearses outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 16, 2014, in Houston.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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