One Year Later: Trestle Trail shooting

Posted at 3:51 AM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 21:16:28-04

It has been one year since Adam Bentdahl, 31, of Appleton, Jon Stoffel, 33, of Neenah, and Olivia Stoffel, 11, of Neenah died after a gunman opened fire on the Trestle Trail Bridge on a Sunday evening.

One year later, many in the community are still trying to come to terms with what happened.

Gabriella Nellesen was on the bridge just hours before the shooting.

"It was devastating, I think, for everybody, especially all the parents that bring their kids here to play," she said. "I mean, it could have been any of us on that bridge that day."

The tragedy changed the lives of everyone involved.

"The days and the weeks that followed were probably the most difficult for the community as well as the people that responded," said Menasha Police Chief Tim Styka. 

Chief Styka was one of the responders and says it still affects his officers.

"You see people who have lost their lives over the years, but it just seemed so out of place," he said.

While many in the area continue to use the trail, it still brings sad memories and questions to the community.

"What would put people in that frame of mind to just walk up and shoot innocent people?" said Karl Barkow, who fishes from the area.

There were no planned remembrances for today, but families and other individual groups planned their own ways to remember those lost.  Adam Bentdahl's mother told NBC26 that their family had a private ceremony and planted two trees next to Adam's memorial on the Thrivent Trail in Appleton.