Victim’s son speaks out on 15th anniversary of Von Maur mass shooting
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Eight people died that day at Von Maur 15 years ago, victims of a mass shooting by a single teenaged gunman.
It’s a day of reflection for so many, from employees to victims’ families and first responders.
Monday, Omaha Police paid tribute to the memory of the eight victims killed in the 2007 shooting spree.
The son of one of the victims of the mass shooting at Von Maur 15 years ago also shared his thoughts on the tragic anniversary.
Gary Scharff and John McDonald had stopped there to shop. Beverly Flynn, Angie Schuster, Diane Trent, Gary Joy, Jan Jorgensen and Maggie Webb were all employees of the family-owned department store.
Several were on the top floor gift wrapping. Christmas was just three weeks away.
Gary Scharf was just 48 years old when he died.
He stopped at Von Maur to do some shopping on his way home to Lincoln from a business trip when a single teenage gunman entered the store.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my father,” Gary’s son Steve Scharf said. “I think that what makes losing a family member to gun violence different, unfortunate and somewhat unique. It’s almost always preventable. That’s what makes it so difficult.”
Steve was a sophomore at UNL 15 years ago.
“I was just getting around to putting up some photos and mementos from my dad yesterday. I put up a mounted fish from a fishing trip when I was a kid. There are things like that that seem small, but I got it on the wall just right. It’s kind of my own personal tribute. A nice momento to bring back some fond memories.”
Steve Scharf is troubled by all the mass shootings in the U.S. since Von Maur in 2007.
Similar horrors at an Orlando nightclub, Sandy Hook Elementary, Uvalde, Texas, and so on. Sadly, too many to remember in 15 years.
“I would like people to remember my father as a loving and kind man. I would like them to consider to research the gun violence epidemic and advocating for common sense gun solutions at the state level and call your representatives and tell them what changes you’d like them to make. And more broadly I’d like it if we worked as individuals to develop a culture to prevent this kind of thing, and reaching out to young men and remind them that tomorrow is a day worth living, and that committing these atrocities doesn’t help them or anyone else.”
There were also several others who were seriously hurt in the Von Maur shooting.
The gunman took his own life that day.
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