WESTON -- Hundreds gathered in the rain in Weston, Wisconsin Sunday, March 26th to remember a police detective, an attorney and two bank employees who were killed in a string of shootings near Wausau on Wednesday, March 22nd.
Organizers were expecting nearly 1,000 people for Sunday's vigil, and even moved the event from the Wausau Police Department to Kennedy Park.
On a rainy Sunday night, people came to pray, reflect and heal.
"It's just covering up the tears we are bound to shed," Scott Parks, Marathon County sheriff said of the rain that fell as the group gathered Sunday.
45-year-old Nengmy Vang is accused of launching a rampage that spanned three northern Wisconsin towns on Wednesday, killing his wife's divorce attorney, a police detective and two people at the bank where his wife worked.
The bank shooting was reported around midday. Officers arrived to find two people were shot and the suspect had fled.
A second call came about 10 minutes later from Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks law firm. The action then moved to an apartment complex in Weston.
The victims were identified as Everest Metro police Detective Jason Weiland, 40; Marathon Savings Bank employees Dianne Look, 67, and Karen Barclay, 62 and attorney Sara Quirt Sann, 43.
Officials said Weiland was among officers who responded to the apartment complex in Weston following the attacks at the bank in nearby Rothschild and the law firm in Schofield.
Vang was taken into custody after a standoff at the apartment complex.
Weiland was a veteran of the Everest Metro Police Department, with experience as a field training officer and member of a task force for internet crimes against children. His career included working as a narcotics detective for the Marathon County Sheriff's Department, and as a police officer with Marathon City and a corrections officer with Marathon County, according to his LinkedIn page. Weiland was a devoted Green Bay Packers fan and is survived by his wife and two children. Weiland was killed as he responded with other officers to an apartment complex where a suspect was taken into custody after a standoff in Weston.
Look graduated from D.C. Everest High School and had two children. Look met her husband, Robert Look, while working at a bank in 1988. The two married in 1992 and lived in South Dakota before returning to Wisconsin in 1998. The couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day. She had been a branch manager at Marathon Savings Bank since 1998.
Barclay's former husband, Glenn Barclay, said she was the mother of a 28-year-old daughter and grandmother to two children ages 4 and 7. Karen Barclay was a dedicated employee, mother and grandmother, her ex-husband said. "Pleasant to everybody she met. Didn't have a mean bone in her body," he said.
Quirt Sann had been a lawyer since 2011, according to her LinkedIn profile. Previously she worked as a manager for Wausau-based Quirt Family Dentistry from 2007-2012. Her LinkedIn profile also says she graduated from the Valparaiso University School of Law in 1999 and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a journalism degree in 1996. Court records show she served from time to time as a guardian ad litem in divorce and child support cases, watching out for the interests of the children in those proceedings.
"I'm sure they didn't expect to go to work that day and not be able to come home," Brandi Bradford said.
Bradford said she was so moved by the tragedy that unfolded near Wausau that she joined three of her friends to organize Sunday's vigil.
"I kinda hope everyone coming together -- the pastors and religious leaders we have coming -- I hope that can bring some comfort to the families," Bradford said.
"It's a huge shock. It's people that we know. It's a small community," Bert Nitzke with the South Area Fire District said.
Vang's brother, Vajloogzeb Vaj said his brother called him from inside his apartment in Weston after he was shot to say goodbye. Vaj said he was so shocked that "I almost got a heart attack."
Vaj said doctors have told him his brother is expected to survive his wounds.
Vaj said his brother showed signs of being mentally ill since he and his wife separated. Vaj said he hadn't spoken with his brother for weeks and he thinks he's become a loner. He once hit their mother "like a crazy person," Vaj said.
Meanwhile, the victims are being remembered throughout the community with colored ribbons -- blue for Weiland, pink for Sann and:
"The two red ribbons are showing the protection that Dianne and Karen gave to the wife of the suspect to be able to flee from the situation," Nitzke said.
Weiland's family was present at Sunday's vigil, including his father.
"His father is a member, an active member of our fire department as well," Nitzke said.
As mourners sheltered from the rain, they were packed even closer together in the park's pavilion, huddling close as they wrote words of support on four prayer boards.
"We just wanted some place that people can jot down their thoughts they have," Bradford said.
Officials with a number of neighboring police and fire departments brought their engines and squads to the vigil.
Organizers said even more departments are expected for Weiland's funeral.
Related links: Support for victims of shootings near Wausau
A memorial fund for the family of Jason Weiland, a detective and 15-year veteran of the Everest Metropolitan Police Department, has been established through Intercity State Bank, 2900 Schofield Avenue, Weston, WI 54476. Donations for the family can be directed to Intercity State Bank under the name of “Weiland Memorial Fund.”
A memorial fund for all of the victims (Weiland, the police detective, Dianne Look and Karen Barclay, employees at Marathon Savings Bank and Sara Quirt Sann, an attorney) has been established through River Valley Bank, c/o Victims Family Fund, 327 N 17th Avenue, Wausau, WI 54401. Donations will be accepted at all River Valley Branch locations until April 30th.
Marathon Savings Bank has established a fund for Dianne Look and Karen Barclay, employees at Marathon Savings Bank killed in the shootings. Marathon Savings Bank has provided an initial gift of $30,000. Also, in response to members of the community seeking a way to support the families, Marathon Savings Bank established a GoFundMe page for the “Barclay and Look Family Fund.”
Visitation for Detective Jason Weiland:
DC Everest Senior High School
6500 Alderson St.
Tuesday, March 28th
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 29th
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.