Signs for prayers and healing line the streets of Marathon County blue lights shining bright in a dark moment for the community.
On March 22nd three separate shootings at Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild, Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks Law Office and a Weston apartment complex took the lives of four innocent people, Dianne Look, Karen Barclay, Sara Quirt-Sann and Everest Metro Police Department Detective Jason Weiland.
“He was really dedicated at what he did and he went over and above,” said Everest Metro Police Department Chief Wally Sparks. For Sparks the loss is very personal, “To equate it in terms someone that could probably relate to, it’s the lovable joking fun brother in your family, you know, that one person that was always in a great mood.”
Sparks says while you never forget a loss like this, the outpouring of support from the community and around the country is helping his department begin to heal. Hundreds of cards from area schools and churches have been sent to officers at Everest Metro Police Department.
But healing will take time. Sparks says Detective Weiland's wife, Kara comes into the department often, “I don't know how she does it she has become kind of a rock through all of this and I know there are days when the reality sinks in."
In a matter of hours the lives of so many changed forever. A cross, flowers and notes make up a memorial outside the Marathon Savings Bank branch where Karen Barclay and Dianne Look were killed.
Dianne's husband Bob Look trying to focus on the laughter they shared, “I could break her up and she could break me up sometimes." The couple celebrated their 25 wedding anniversary this year.
In the days following the shooting and at Dianne’s funeral the outpouring of support left its mark on the family, "It was amazing how many people came out and we were really touched by it," said Look.
While this tragedy linked four families together in a way they never wanted, the kindness that followed is also a common bond they share.
Sara quirt-Sann's husband, Scott Sann, wrote on his employers Facebook page the day after the shooting to share his gratitude to the community for their support. “I cannot express the gratitude for the many kind words,” wrote Sann "Come together with me a community and find healing and strength together."
The community of Marathon County is finding strength by leaning on each other during this difficult time.