Large crowd gathers at Trestle Trail Bridge in Menasha to remember three killed in shooting
MENASHA -- Hundreds gathered Sunday evening, May 31st at the Trestle Trail Bridge in Menasha to remember three people who were shot and killed on Sunday, May 3rd.
33-year-old Jonathan Stoffel was shot seven times. His 11-year-old daughter Olivia was shot three times. 31-year-old Adam Bentdahl was shot once. All three lost their lives.
Stoffel's wife, Erin Stoffel was shot three times, but she survived. Erin Stoffel has been praised for heroism in the face of unthinkable horror and tragedy. She was able to get herself and her two other children off the bridge even after she was shot three times — and she instructed her young son to get help.
Police say 27-year-old Sergio Valencia del Toro opened fire on the bridge on the evening of May 3rd -- killing three people before turning the weapons on himself.
Police say prior to the shooting, there was a disagreement between Sergio Valencia del Toro and his girlfriend, Haylie Peterson. Peterson left the residence, and upon returning, she learned del Toro had left the residence on his bicycle -- taking two weapons with him.
Five days after the shooting, on May 7th, hundreds gathered on what was a "National Day of Prayer" to pray for the victims.
Menasha National Day of Prayer
On Sunday evening, they gathered again for an event titled "Hands Over the Fox" -- meant to remember the lives lost in this shooting and help the community move forward.
Hands Over the Fox
Folks gathered on both sides of the Trestle Trail Bridge beginning at 6:30 p.m.
At 7:00 p.m., there was a brief invocation, and then people were asked to walk onto the bridge from either side until both sides met in the middle
Hands were joined and raised during a moment of silence in honor of the lives lost. Nearby churches were asked to ring their bells at 7:33 p.m.
Immediately following, boaters and kayakers in the surrounding water collectively sounded their horns as another sign of community strength and support.
"You think about the importance of joining hands or shaking hands and how important that is in our society, so today we will start as strangers and people that live in this wonderful place called home and come together as one," Chad Hershner said.
The event was originally scheduled for May 17th, but it had to be postponed due to weather.