“We have to reach out:” Candlelight vigil held for Azana shooting victims

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BROOKFIELD (WITI) -- Two years ago, on October 21st, a gunman opened fire at the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield, shooting and killing three women and wounding four others. This year, family and friends of the victims are holding a candlelight vigil to remember the victims.

The mass shooting stemmed from a domestic violence situation between a wife and her estranged husband. So the Women's Resource Center in Racine helped organize Tuesday night's event because officials say incidents like that have a rippling effect on the community -- and it's time to raise awareness.

Cherie Griffin, executive director at the Women's Resource Center, says when Radcliffe Haughton came into the Azana Salon and Spa where his wife Zina Daniel worked and started shooting, the tragedy resonated. Before he turned the gun on himself, Haughton killed Daniel, Maelyn Lind and Cary Robuck. Four other women were wounded.

"We are seeing a trend in domestic violence that abusers are willing to take out others along with the person. That is the target of their abuse and power and control," said Griffin.

Griffin says the Brookfield incident was a call for the domestic violence program to respond.

"We have to reach out to the entire sphere around the victim of domestic violence," said Griffin. "There's an entire community that's affected and potentially in danger when an abuser is escalating in violence."

So over the last two years, the group has provided ongoing support for surviving families. Tuesday night is a chance for counseling, along with a candlelight vigil and other activities of remembrance.

The gathering was set for 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield. Anyone affected by domestic violence is invited to attend.

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