'A moment of blessing' for two Lacey murder victims -- and worries for a young survivor
LACEY, Wash. -- A "moment of blessing" was held at the site of a domestic violence double murder in Lacey on July 31. There is now increased concern for the little girl left behind because this is not her first experience with a terrible loss because of violence.
"Surely the presence of God is in this place," someone said as people gathered in front of the home the peace was shattered when Rachel Gardin-Gonzalez and her mother, Kimberly Redford, were shot and killed. Ribbons with their names were added to the "pole of remembrance."
Police allege that the gunman was Rachel Gardin-Gonzalez's estranged husband, Ricky Gardin-Gonzalez. He fled with their two children and later shot and wounded himself when cornered by police. His young son and step-daughter were in the backseat, but weren't hit.
Selena Kilmoyer of Interfaith Works said at the gathering, "And mostly I have been thinking about the children who have lived through this incredible traumatic experience."
A lot of the focus right now is on that little 11-year-old girl, because not only she lose her mother and grandmother, she also lost her birth father to murder two years ago.
"We were unaware of that," said neighbor Kate Fosmark. "Oh, that's terrible." Terrie Noble of Violent Crime Victim Services said, "I don't know how any of us can fathom being in her situation right now and the trauma that she endured here."
Two groups have established GoFundMe sites to help the families and the children who are going to no doubt need long-term care and counseling.
Noble said to the group, "Please continue to pray for those children for the rest of your life because they will need that for their life."
A court appearance for Gardin-Gonzalez has not been set because he is still hospitalized in Seattle.