Funerals held for three Tinley Park victims

February 9, 2008 9:00:38 PM PST
Hundreds of family and friends gathered Saturday to remember those killed by a gunman at a Tinley Park clothing store.One week ago, five women were gunned down inside a Lane Bryant women's clothing store. The shooter has not been caught. Investigators say they are looking at a large amount of evidence recovered from searches of nearby frozen ponds and streams.

Those who went to the funeral for shooting victim Connie Woolfolk continued to grieve Saturday afternoon as well as the family and friends of the other store shooting victims. The loved ones are also waiting and hoping for a break in the case to allow police to hold someone responsible for the heinous crime.

Woolfolk, the single mother of two boys, happened to be shopping at the Lane Bryant last Saturday.

"I'm going to miss just my sister's character. She was just a beautiful person, you know. No matter who you were, you loved her," said Aaron Woolfolk, the victim's brother.

The hundreds of people that packed the Country Club Hills funeral chapel had heavy hearts and contempt for the one responsible for the store murders.

"The whole community is suffering from this. She touched so many people. This [the ceremony] won't even show you how many people's lives she touched. It wasn't just the five victims or anything like that. But he hurt a lot more people. The whole community is hurting right now," said Woolfolk's friend Michael Wand.

The same sentiment was shared by those who knew and loved Lane Bryant store Manager Rhoda McFarland, who was killed in the shootings, as well. The 42-year-old was also an ordained minister who mentored young girls.

"She has gone to a better place. I hope that everyone took the life that Rhoda took and will make heaven their home," Marionette Gray, one of McFarland's relatives.

Shock still gripped the family of victim Sarah Szafranski Saturday. The 22-year-old paralegal was remembered as someone everyone wanted to know.

"She was a good person. She was involved in everything in school. She was a good person, good to know," said friend Ryan Neary.

"As soon as I found out about the shooting and everything and found out it hits this close to home, it's been awful," said Donnie Slattery, also a friend of Sarah Szafranski.

As the lone survivor of the store shootings continues to recuperate, police are hoping that she can help them with a composite sketch of the shooter. The victims' families are hoping that, along with other leads pouring into the police department, will bring about an arrest.


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