Lori Bresnahan and a 10-year-old girl were leaving the CNY Gym Centre at Great Northern Mall Thursday evening when police say they were savagely attacked by a man who was facing child pornography charges.
A woman who identified herself as the owner of the Centre told CNYCentral's Michael Benny the staff is "reeling" after learning about the horrific crime. "We are devastated. Our hearts and prayers are with the family right now - and that is about all I can say," the stunned owner said.
"Lori Bresnahan was part of our CNY Gym Centre family and her caring personality will be greatly missed by all," says CNY Gym Centre. The gym says it brought in grief counselors to help students, parents, and staff.
CNY Gym Centre released a statement on Sunday. The full statement is below.
"The tragedy Thursday night at Great Northern Mall has left an entire community reeling with deep sadness and the loss of a wonderful woman. Lori Bresnahan was part of our CNY Gym Centre family and her caring personality will be greatly missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends and everyone that has to cope with this terrible act of violence.
CNY Gym Centre has already brought in grief counselors who have been available to talk with parents, gymnasts and staff.
As our priority has always been, CNY Gym Centre will continue to work with mall security to ensure the safety of our gymnasts, their families, and our staff.
CNY Gym Centre has a long history of being a safe, positive, nurturing environment for children to learn and enjoy the sport of gymnastics. We hope that with the strong support of the upstate community, we can all heal and continue to provide our children with gymnastics opportunities for years and years to come."