Hundreds packed the First Methodist Church in Herkimer on Monday night, turning to their faith to cope with the loss of the four victims in last Wednesday's shootings. For those who knew the victims, the service gave them a chance to reflect.
"My father was a very kind and gentle man," said Christopher Stefka, son of victim Tom Stefka. "We played sports together. We played music together. We shared a lot of time together. And I just want everybody to know that I love him and miss him very much."
"Tom [Stefka] was a tall man with a ponytail, with a guitar," said friend Sharon Palmer. "He loved to sing. That's how we'll remember him, as a singer."
Others within the community came to the service as a way to come to terms with crimes that happened so close to home. "It's Mohawk," said Cheslea Lee, who lives in the town. "Nothing like this is supposed to happen. So, at first, it was just kind of shock. And now I think everybody is just starting to accept the fact and just trying to help each other through it."
"I think we're all feeling a little traumatized," said Chelsea's mother, Nancy Lee, of Mohawk. "And I do agree with the idea of healing, coming together as a community. "
"This tragedy has hit our little town," said Diane O'Donnell, who came tonight as a way to begin healing. "It rocked our world. And it's just a chance for us to pray and to be together, and to help each other heal."
The service brought together eight faith leaders within the community to share songs and prayers with those in attendance.