Valentine's Day and birthdays. Dinner and a quiet evening with friends and loved ones. These were the simple pleasures so violently interrupted by 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic as he strolled, shotgun in hand, into Trolley Square on Monday evening.
His victims those he killed and those he injured are loved and admired, and are missed. Their heartbroken families, friends, co-workers and neighbors paid tribute to them Tuesday.
Jeffery and AJ Walker
Jeffery Walker and his son, Alan "AJ" Walker, stopped by Trolley Square on Monday night to buy Valentine's Day presents for the girls in their family. Within moments, however, Jeffery Walker was dead and his son was grievously wounded after being shot in the head and ankle.
Talovic opened fire with a shotgun, killing five people, including the senior Walker, 52, before being killed by police.
AJ Walker was in serious condition at University Hospital on Tuesday evening, following surgery early in the day to relieve swelling in his brain. Family friend and neighbor Mark McDougal said the youth is sedated but has been talking some to his mother, Vickie. He knows his dad was shot but does not yet know that he died. And doctors treating him hope to keep it that way for a while.
AJ told his mom he saw a "man in a costume" who "immediately started shooting."
McDougal will remember Jeffery Walker as "a man with a great heart" and "great passion for his dear wife, Vickie" and their four children, of whom AJ is second youngest. "He will be remembered as a true hero."
Jeffery Walker, he said, was the life of the party, a fellow who loved to orchestrate group vacations with family and friends. Just recently, McDougal said, Walker had spearheaded a multifamily cruise. "If you vacationed with Jeff, you'd think you went with a master planner." Walker also taught Sunday School in his ward.
The Walker family, he said, is finding "great comfort in their belief that families can be forever."
Vickie Walker, while struggling with her husband's death and her son's injuries, told their three other children that "we can feel no evil, no ill, no harm against this man (Talovic)," McDougal said.
In the aftermath of the shooting spree, family members did not know for many hours what had become of either father or son, McDougal said. They were notified by University Hospital on Monday night that AJ had been brought in. But it was after midnight before they were informed that Jeffery Walker, a regional marketing director for ING Variable Annuities, was among those killed.
AJ is a junior at Bingham High School and a "pretty popular kid," evidenced by the outpouring of love and concern the teen and his family have received at the hospital, McDougal said. He is clearly a "really well-liked young man."
"Surreal" was the word McDougal used to describe the reaction of Vickie Walker and her children to the tragedy. "They can't imagine it happening here. Or to Jeff Walker."
McDougal said AJ Walker will need more surgery and his prognosis is not yet clear. "Right now, it's watch and see."
Meanwhile, neighbors and classmates in the family's South Jordan neighborhood were also trying Tuesday to make sense of the violence that killed the senior Walker and critically injured his son.
"You can't believe it," said Ethan Aylett, who lives across the street from the Walkers. "You think you're going to wake up and think things will be the way they were. You keep thinking you're going to look across the street and see (Jeffery Walker) pull in."
Several neighbors gathered outside the Walker home to talk and help the family take care of the house.
"It's just crazy that they happened to be there at that time," Aylett said about the father and son being at the mall during the shooting.
Aylett described Jeffery Walker as a good husband and father and a "family guy." Aylett's family moved into the upscale neighborhood with newer homes here last summer.
Aylett praised the armed Ogden police officer, who is credited with saving lives by helping to stop the gunman. More "trustworthy" people, he added, should have concealed weapons permits to be able to help out in situations like the mall shooting. Aylett said he and a friend have been talking about getting their own permits. "You never know you know?" he said.
Aylett did not want to judge Talovic, saying its "too bad" the gunman is not still alive so people could learn more about the young man and his motives in order to prevent something like this from happening in the future.
Around the corner from Walker's home, Steve Young refrained from much comment until after a statement from the family.
"He's an amazing, kind man," Young said about Jeffery Walker. "It's just difficult to hear this."
Members of the Walkers' LDS ward fasted on their behalf Tuesday, and in the evening about 200 attended a service in the meetinghouse, a dozen of them speaking.
Bishop Roger Sorenson said the hospital's nurses were positive about the teen's response.
"He's a fighter, he's strong," Bishop Sorenson said, but "he's not out of the woods yet."
Several speakers mentioned how fun Jeffery Walker had been, saying he had been a positive influence in their lives, a man with integrity who doted upon his wife.
About a mile away at Bingham High School, Principal Jolene Jolley said a crisis team with the Jordan School District was at her school helping teachers and some among the school's 2,400 students deal with news. AJ Walker's sister, Alexandra, is also a student at the school.
Jolley was at a school play Monday night when students began contacting each other via cell phones during the production about the shooting. By the time she left the school, Jolley was aware one of her students was involved.
"You just feel for the family," Jolley said. "The father is gone and a young man is critically injured. Many, many people in this valley have been impacted by this."
But for students at Bingham High, there is no taking a break or postponing scheduled state testing taking place this week.
"We're just trying to keep everyone hanging in there," Jolley said. "We're trying to keep kids' heads in the game." Stephen Speckman and Lois M. Collins
Carolyn Tuft and Kirsten Hinckley
Carolyn Tuft, 44, remained in critical condition at LDS Hospital Tuesday, a day after she was shot and her teenage daughter, Kirsten Hinckley, was killed by the gunman at Trolley Square.
Hinckley, 15, was a sophomore at Brighton High School.
The family has requested privacy, but during a news conference at LDS Hospital Tuesday afternoon, family spokesman Robert Morgan, Tuft's brother-in-law, read this statement:
"The families of Kirsten Hinckley and Carolyn Tuft are, with all of our community, saddened and shocked at the events of the previous evening. We are especially saddened by the loss of our sweet Kirsten, but our hearts go out to all of the people hurt by this tragedy.
"We would like to thank the entire law enforcement and medical communities for excellent handling of this whole ordeal. We appreciate the many thoughts and prayers that have gone out on behalf of both Kirsten and Carolyn, and join with our community in wishing well to all those who have suffered at this time."
At the family's request, teachers and administrators at the teen's school declined all comment about Kirsten, said Jordan School District spokesman Mike Kelley. Lee Davidson and Lois M. Collins
Two years into their marriage, Vanessa Quinn and her husband, Richard, were on their way to pick out new wedding bands to replace the ones they already had. They had driven separate vehicles to Trolley Square on Monday and were headed toward each other in the mall when the gunman shot and killed Vanessa.
Richard was ushered out of the building without knowing whether anything happened to his wife. After calling various hospitals trying to find her, he learned the tragic news. Late Tuesday, Richard Quinn issued a statement. "My best friend, my wife, Vanessa Quinn, needlessly left us Monday evening at Trolley Square. I want to thank all of our friends and family for their love and support in this tragic time of need."
Her father Kenny Antrobus, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she grew up, said, "I always pray to God. I always pray to take me before you ever take one of my kids," he said, his voice cracking with emotion. "I wanted to die when I first heard, but I know Vanessa would want me to be here for her sisters and her mom. She was the glue that held our family together."
Antrobus said his daughter loved sports and played a lot of them while growing up.
"She could run like a gazelle, and she could bench press 550 pounds with her legs," he said. He said Vanessa also had a tendency to pick up stray dogs and giving them a home.
"She has one that she calls 'Stray' and another named 'Jack,"' he said. "She loved animals."
Vanessa Quinn moved to Salt Lake City to work here during the 2002 Winter Olympics and ended up staying after falling in love with Utah's mountains.
"She thought it would be a good thing to add to her resume; she loved sports," Antrobus said.
After hearing the news of his daughter's death, Antrobus said, all kinds of memories of her flooded his mind, including her first soccer goal when she was a child.
Quinn went on to play for the Division 1 women's soccer team at University of Cincinnati in Ohio, where her sister was one of her teammates. She has two sisters who also live in Ohio; she was a middle child.
"I have three beautiful daughters; they all look like their mother," her father said. "But one of them was taken from me. I lost a piece of my heart today, and I'll never get it back."
Antrobus said he hopes the officer who "stepped in and stopped all the nonsense" will be honored by the president of the United States "for taking out that animal that shot my daughter."
"I would love to shake his hand and thank him for fighting to save my daughter," he said. "He saved a lot of lives. I wish one of them would have been Vanessa, but that's how it has to be."
Quinn had been working for Overstock.com for several years. She and her husband lived in Sandy and were "very nice," according to neighbors. The couple did not have any children but had many friends, who were always coming and going from their home.
Along with their rings, Vanessa told her father that they were at to the mall to purchase a present for their nephew's fifth birthday party.
The family is in the process of planning a memorial service for Vanessa, tentatively scheduled to be held in Utah sometime Friday. Antrobus said he might not be able to make it because his airport is snowed in.
"There's a lot of us that have to come in from out of town," he said. "But she knew a lot of people there. She was a hard worker, determined and a good person." He said she lived a good, Christian lifestyle "she never cussed, didn't smoke or do drugs. She was baptized and was just a good person. Such a good person. Everyone loved her." Wendy Leonard
A promotion at work took Brad Frantz and his girlfriend to Trolley Square for a pre-Valentine's Day celebration.
Frantz, 24, worked as a certified welder on construction jobs throughout the Mountain West, including the new LDS temple in Rexburg, Idaho. He had just learned that he would become a boss. He received a company truck.
"He was on on his way," said his father, Dan Frantz, who lives in Elsinore, Sevier County. "He was really quite the welder and on his way up the ladder."
Talovic took all that away Monday night when he opened fire on the fun-loving Frantz and others in the greeting card shop Cabin Fever. Teresa Ellis, who accompanied Frantz with her own recent good fortune at work, also was fatally shot.
"He's just a good spirit," said his aunt, Julie Lunt. "Sometimes they take them a little early."
Lunt described her nephew as a happy person whose smile lit up a room. He loved outdoor activities like camping, snowboarding, skateboarding and water skiing. And especially liked doing them with his older brother, Brandon. "You never saw him sad, even if he had a bad day," she said.
But the biggest joy in Frantz's life was his 3-year-old daughter Dejah.
"They were like stuck at the hip. He wouldn't be out of town if he had the weekend with his daughter," Lunt said.
Everyone associated with Frantz called him a great dad who doted on his daughter. "She lives with her mother, but he was a very good father to that child," Dan Frantz said.
"He had a great smile, and she was just like him," said Dan Seglich, an uncle. "He did all kinds of things with her."
The love between Frantz and Dejah was a rare one, he said. "Usually it's the mother who has that love. He wanted the best for her," Seglich said.
"It's going to hurt her bad when she discovers he's not around."
Had Frantz had visitation Monday night, it's likely Dejah would have been with him, he said.
Frantz's mother and stepfather were to have joined him and Ellis for dinner at Trolley Square. "They weren't dressed or something like that, so they didn't go," Lunt said.
"I'm glad they didn't go. I really wish Brad didn't go." Dennis Romboy
Nathan Ellis talked to his estranged wife three hours before she died. It was an emotional call, he says, one filled with all the exhaustion and angst of two people trying to decide if they were going to divorce after a long separation.
Teresa Ellis, 29, had considered reuniting with the man she'd met in New York eight years ago, and the two were in frequent contact by Nathan's accounts. Teresa Ellis left work at 2 p.m. Monday, buoyed, according to Nathan Ellis, by a big bonus she'd received at work.
The two were living apart, but Teresa called Nathan Ellis shortly after leaving work.
"It is such a blessing that I got to talk to her," said Nathan Ellis, breaking into tears.
"I talked to her three or four hours before she was shot," he recalled Tuesday. "It was tough. We were talking about whether we should finally divorce or who was going to get what, but then it got pretty emotional. She said she loved me, and I told her I loved her and we said we'd talk later."
That conversation with Teresa Ellis provides some of the woman's last sentiments before she was shot just before 7 p.m. in Trolley Square gift shop Cabin Fever.
In that telephone conversation, Teresa Ellis talked about the team of tellers she supervised at work how proud she was of them and how hard they worked. But mostly the two talked about their future, Nathan Ellis said.
Teresa Blair grew up in Jamestown, N.Y., and Ellis met her there while he was on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Teresa was 21 when she was baptized into the church, and Nathan met her shortly afterward. When his mission was over, he returned to Salt Lake City briefly, then went back to New York, where the two became reacquainted. They were married in June 2001.
Their marriage had hit some rough patches in recent years.
"Her dad died a couple of years ago, and she had a real rough time with that," Nathan Ellis said. "It put a strain on our marriage." The two separated 15 months ago, he said, but began dating again in the summer. It had been up and down since then.
He told her she needed to make a decision about their relationship by the end of 2006, "but then I didn't stick to that either, even though I knew I should have," he said.
After their phone conversation Monday afternoon, Teresa Ellis told Nathan Ellis she was exhausted. She said she was going to take a nap, then head out to to go shopping, he said, and the two planned to talk later in the evening after the shopping trip.
Teresa, an assistant manager at a West Valley branch of Chase Bank, had earned a bonus from the bank, and she talked about what was on her shopping list.
"She wanted to buy me an iPod," Nathan Ellis said. "And she wanted to buy her mom something really nice."
Teresa Ellis was planning ahead for Mother's Day, and for the birthday of her mom, who lives in New York. That's the way she was, Nathan said, always planning ahead. Always thinking of others. Always nonjudgmental. "Always loving and kind to everyone," he said.
Comments from Nathan Ellis, her relatives and co-workers also craft a picture of a smart, witty woman who was quick with a joke and creative with artsy projects from flower arranging to scrapbooking.
She worked at Chase Bank for six years, starting as a teller and working her way up to assistant branch manager at the bank's West Valley branch. Heather Kesner, head of retail operations for Chase in Utah, called Ellis funny, bright and giving, someone who actively sought out opportunities to serve others.
"She loved to help, whether it was her customers or her Chase co-workers," Kesner said.
Ellis volunteered to be on one of the bank's "travel teams," sometimes spending weeks at a time helping out at other Chase operations. She was part of a team that deployed to New Orleans to provide emergency banking services for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, she went to New York to help with a major computer systems conversion.
"She was very special," Kesner said.
The two shared a love for New York City and over a recent lunch, had swapped stories about where to buy the best knock-off purses. "We just had a great conversation about the city, and how much she loved the area," Kesner said. "It was our little bond that we had, and it was very nice."
On Tuesday, Kesner said Ellis' co-workers were shaken and had been given time off to grieve. The West Valley bank branch was staffed with employees from other Chase branches. To honor her memory, Chase has established the Teresa Ellis Memorial Fund, which Ellis' family will direct. Contributions will be accepted at any Chase bank.
"You wish you had more employees like Teresa," Kesner said. "She really was a wonderful person. She made an impact, not just on those people with whom she worked most immediately, but really on the whole market."
Nathan Ellis has been staying at the home of his sister and brother-in-law in Magna. He got out of classes at the University of Utah about 7 p.m. Monday and went straight home. He ate supper, played a game with his sister and brother-in-law and eventually went to bed. They never turned on the TV, so Ellis had no idea about the shootout until detectives showed up at the door at 2 a.m.
"Teresa Ellis has been shot and killed at Trolley Square," the officer said.
"I've never been so sad." Ellis said. "She was just such a good person." Lucinda Dillon-Kinkead
After a dinner celebrating their daughter Jordan's 13th birthday at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Trolley Square on Monday night, Shawn and Jayme Munns went out separate doors to their cars.
Within moments, Munns, 34, would become one of the first victims of an 18-year-old on a shooting rampage. He would also be the first hero, calling his wife to take their children and get away, before wounded and bleeding he burst into the Hard Rock Cafe and yelled to lock the doors and get away from the windows.
Munns, who works in Larry H. Miller's corporate office, is listed in serious but stable condition at LDS Hospital. Spokesman Jess Gomez said it was expected he'd be upgraded to satisfactory by day's end Tuesday. "He's doing pretty good. He's awake and alert and talking," said Jodie Sparrow, Jayme Munns' sister. While he's not talking much about what happened, she added, "he remembers every bit of it."
Munns' in-laws provided a chilling account of the shooting during a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the hospital.
Munns left Trolley Square through a west-end door and was heading to his car near the Green Street club when he heard a noise and turned a little. He was hit twice, in the back and in the side of the neck. He heard his attacker say "Die, (expletive)."
Knocked to the ground, Munns told his family he thought at first he'd been Tasered. Then he realized he'd been shot. The first thing he did was call wife Jayme and tell her to get the kids in the car and leave fast.
"He knew he wanted to run towards people," Sparrow said, and he burst into the Hard Rock Cafe, where he "warned everybody to lock the doors. He is a hero.... He'd say he isn't, but he is a hero."
The family said they felt very fortunate because he's going to recover and also because he was alone when he was shot. Normally, Sparrow said, one of his stepchildren, Jordan, 13, or Cody, 11, would go with him and the other with Jayme, but this time, both went with their mother.
"We are so glad he's OK. We are saddened and devastated by what the other families are going through," Sparrow said.
His in-laws, including Sparrow, her husband Brian and mother Patti Weber, describe Munns as a "great guy and a joker." He's a 1990 graduate of Bonneville High School who has what Weber described as "strong family convictions." Twice he called his wife and told her to "drive, drive, drive as far away as she could," Sparrow added.
She was in shock and had driven to a Tesoro station on Beck Street when her daughter called Sparrow's daughter and the family came to get them, Sparrow said. "She didn't know how she got there. That's where we picked her up."
Then they waited to hear what had happened to him.
Doctors told the family that none of the pellets had pierced his body cavity. He's fortunate, they were told, that he's large. "A thin man," said Weber, probably would not have survived."
Munns will, however, carry as many as 75 to 100 pellets around with him perhaps for the rest of his life because the risk of infection from removing them is greater than leaving them where they are. He underwent a single surgery and on Tuesday was moved out of the intensive care. Lois M. Collins
Stacy HansonComment on this story
Stacy Hanson, one of those seriously injured in Monday's attack, is a Salt Lake resident who works at Datamark advertising agency, where he is an associate creative director. Tuesday evening University Hospital released a statement on behalf of his family. It reads:
"We want to thank the community for the tremendous outpouring of support they have shown to our family in the wake of the Trolley Square shootings. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones on Monday night. We also pray for the quick recovery of those injured both physically and emotionally during the attack."Stacy remains in critical but stable condition at University Hospital. He is a fighter, and we are optimistic that he will continue to improve over the weeks ahead. Our focus right now is on supporting Stacy and helping him heal. While we appreciate the interest in Stacy and his condition, we humbly ask that media respect our privacy during this difficult time."