Several hundred people gathered in the rain at Kennedy Park in Weston on Sunday for a candlelight vigil, paying their respects to the four victims of Wednesday’s shootings in the Wausau metro area.
Organizer Brandi Bradford told WAOW NewsLine Nine that it’s important for the community to stand together as one.
“(The victims) didn’t expect to go to work that day and not be able to come home,” she said. “Just a night to recognize the four victims that we lost on Wednesday.”
Everest Metro Police Department Officer Jason Weiland was the last person killed on Wednesday, while responding to shootings at a bank and law office in Weston and the nearby town of Rothschild.
Also killed were 67-year-old Dianne Look and 62-year-old Karen Barclay at the Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild, and 43-year-old attorney Sara Quirt Sann. A 45-year-old man is in custody for the slayings.
Law enforcement officials, including Chief Wally Sparks with the Everest Metro Police Department, addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support. “It really touches the hearts of all of our officers,” he said once the vigil concluded. “My heart goes out to the families and the suspect’s family. It’s just a difficult time for everyone.”
Four balloons were released in honor of the victims.
Hundreds were at the vigil, with many more were also showing solidarity in their homes. Organizers asked those who were unable to attend the vigil to recognize a moment of silence.