Movie theater victims remembered for zeal to change the world
LAFAYETTE- The pain in the air in the City of Lafayette was palpable Friday.
Across the city, state and nation people mourned for the victims in Thursday's movie massacre. The shooting claimed the lives of 21-year old Mayci Breaux and 33-year old Jillian Johnson.
Tears of sadness moistened Jan Risher's face outside the shop Jillian Johnson owned. Risher can't believe she won't hear Johnson's sweet voice anymore.
"We were just in South Dakota with Jillian and her family for a friends wedding," Risher said.
Risher had no idea it would be one of the last times she saw Johnson. At Johnson's shop Red Arrow Boutique in River Ranch, a landscape of loss is taking shape outside the doors of her shop. Flowers, candles and cards memorialize a woman called a trailblazer by many. Those who knew her said she was a lighthouse, a beacon for the entire state.
"She just had an enormous heart," Risher said "She loved Louisiana so much, loved Lafayette so much. She really wanted to take it in a place it had never been in a positive way."
Thursday night, John Houser ended that.
One day after the shooting, a large crime scene was still visible outside the Grand Theatre. I spoke to family members of one of the victims who was shot in the chest and was sitting next to a female victim that died. They were too shaken up to go on camera.
Comfort was hard to find Friday across Lafayette. Mayci Breaux was the other victim who died. She was a student at LSU Eunice. Friends there, will remember the impact she had on them.
"She was the most sweetest person ever," Briley Lebeouf said. "She always had a smile on her and face would always say, 'I'm so cute today.' She was confident and positive all the time. She was very beautiful inside and out."
As people who knew the victims cry over their loss, the state and nation feel their pain. Their lives can best be summed up by the words left on paper, words that are so hard to find for the grief-stricken.
"Fly high you beautiful angel, we love you!"