Hundreds gather to say goodbye to Tyler, Rich Smith

Undated courtesy photos of Rich Smith (left) and Tyler Smith (right).
Undated courtesy photos of Rich Smith (left) and Tyler Smith (right)

 

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds gathered to say goodbye to Tyler and Rich Smith on Saturday in Kalamazoo.

Tyler, 17, and 53-year-old Rich were killed on Feb. 20 in the Kalamazoo area shooting spree.

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“I have three kids so I can’t even imagine what they are feeling, but just to let them know that the more you talk about them and keep their memory alive I think it really helps,” said Shelly Krzciok.

Krzciok stood along a street in Mattawan on Saturday as the procession of more than 100 vehicles drove from the soccer filed at Mattawan Schools to Calvary Bible Church where the memorial service was held for the father and son.

It has been one week since the father and son were shot and killed at the Seelye Kia Ford dealership as they looked at cars. They were among the eight people shot in the shooting spree.“It’s just to show how much support we can give his sister and his mom just to show how the community can come together we are there for support to stay strong and when this all starts to settle Mattawan will still be there for them,” Krzciok said.

“Just a devastating thing for the community and we just wanted to come out here and support the families and friends of Tyler and his father and all the other victims of the horrible shootings,” said Terisa Pollock, who also stood along the procession route.

Through it all the Kalamazoo and Mattawan communities has surrounded the Smith family with love and support.

“Hopefully it gives them some comfort in what can come out of this. Hopefully they know we are here for that,” Krzciok said.

As the final goodbyes were said the message Saturday from many was while their light of life may have burned out their memories never will.

“Wish the family peace and comfort throughout this sad time, just to keep their memory alive, we do that for them, always in our prayers,” Carrie Brown said.

The Smith family held a balloon launch at the Seelye Kia dealership where the father and son were shot and killed at 10:05 p.m. Saturday.

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