PLANO, Tx. – Less than two weeks after eight people and the suspect were killed in a domestic violence shooting in Plano – the community is coming together – to remember.
“We just want to honor, and the life that they had, and the life that was taken so quickly and unexpectedly,” Junior League of Collin County president Sheri Steele says. “It started with family violence, but it went into something larger and violent — and that`s what you don`t expect — and when it happens in your backyard, it’s just shocking.”
Police say Spencer Hight killed his estranged wife, Meredith, and others at a Dallas Cowboys watch party on West Spring Creek Parkway.
Now the Junior League is hosting a vigil, but it’s not just to remember and honor.
“It was a natural fit for the city to call the League because we have a long history, 17 years, of an initiative against domestic violence; and our take is generally education and awareness,” Steele says. “We just wanted an open forum for anybody who wants to come and be together and start to heal, and understand because the understanding part is so difficult.”
The vigil is also about strength.
“It will be remembered, but it will not define who Plano is, who the community is, who our leadership is; because domestic violence is something you can never predict […] little signs they usually keep a person from their family or from other friends […] well they love me because they want me to be with them ll the time.”
Many people showed up to honor the lives lost.
Some, knew the victims…
“5 of the victims were connected to UT Dallas in one way so this is a very challenging time for our school community, challenging time for the city,” says McClain Watson, “I did have some experience with two of the victims personally so that just makes it even more important that we all come together and honor their memory.”
And then there were some who didn`t…
“I`m from Plano and nothing like this has happened before, it`s tough,” says Kevin Butler, “but people are struggling everywhere and we have resources. […] we have a strong community here and although we`re not used to big events like this we do have a caring population.”
Those who attended who were related to the victims let their actions speak louder than their words ever could.
Lastly, lighting the candles was where it got tricky – physically and emotionally – the wind may have blown out the flames, but not the memories.