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A community mourns Katie’s tragic death

An outpouring of grief has followed the shooting death last week of a 6th-grade girl from West Chester with a passion for music and soccer.

Authorities said Katherine "Katie" Jane Kolinger Urban, 11, who attended G.A. Stetson Middle School, was shot by her brother at the family's home in the 500 block of Coventry Lane in Westtown Township at 3:26 p.m. Friday. She was taken to Chester County Hospital and pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

Tonight mourners will gather from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Danjolell Memorial Home at 2811 West Chester Pike in Broomall for a viewing. A memorial service will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, 727 Harvard Avenue, Swarthmore.

A statement on the website of the West Chester United Soccer Club said the Urban family was involved with the program for several years.

Gail Thompson, Katie Urban's coach for the spring 2010 season, described her as a "short little fire plug with big cheeks, with a huge smile that filled her face, and shocking crystal blue eyes."

Thompson said Katie Urban played the sweeper position - "a wall of defense that no one could get past" - and always worked hard at practice.

"You coach a lot of kids in your many years of coaching," Thompson said on the website, "but there are some players that you just fall in love with and have a special connection with – that was Katie for me."

Officials from the West Chester Area School District said Katie Urban also participated in numerous musical activities and Girl Scouts.

Paula R. Zerkle, a music professor at Moravian College in Bethlehem, which Katie Urban's mother and grandfather attended, said the 6th-grader had landed one of six solo spots in a special Christmas program after auditions in October. Katie Urban was scheduled to sing at the college the day after she died.

Westtown-East Goshen Township Regional Police have released few details about the shooting, such as whose gun was involved and why it was loaded, saying that the incident remained under investigation. Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has described the circumstances as an apparent "tragic accident."