‘Everybody felt it’: Community comes together for vigil honoring shooting victims

MILWAUKEE – Hundreds of people filled the Ridge Community Church a night after a shooter killed five fellow Molson Coors workers.

“Everybody felt it,” lifelong Milwaukee resident Mark Marsden said. “Everyone, just I think throughout the whole country.”

“I was wrapping up work when I heard what was going on,” said Matt McGehee, who lives in nearby Oak Creek. “My heart dropped. I made a few texts to neighbors and friends that worked there.”

News that tears you apart can also bring a community together.

“It’s sad that it takes something like that for people to come together, but it’s encouraging knowing people will come together to support the community and be a community,” said Brian Niggemann, a member of the church.

Unexpected greeters stood at the entrance of the church, welcoming attendees and helping them cope.

“Turning the corner and seeing 17 dogs here was quite a surprise, and it brought joy, a little peace and comfort to them,” said Richard Martin, the director of K9 Deployments, which began sending dogs in the aftermath of tragedies starting with the shooting in at Northern Illinois University.

“A lot of people don’t know what to do with their emotions,” Martin said. “They can lay them on the dog and the dog absorbs them.”

Community members leaned on each other, as well, knowing they’re stronger together.

“It’s neat to be a part of a community that comes together and supports each other,” said Sarah Rickaby of Oak Creek.

“It’s very tragic, but life goes on, and the healing should begin,” Marsden said.