Collierville community comes together one year after tragedy

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - The community came together on Friday to remember a life lost and to support survivors on the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting that took place at a Collierville Kroger.

One woman was killed and 13 others were hurt in the Sept. 23, 2021 spree.

The Collierville community and many others around the state were shaken that day.

On Friday, they came together to show the community’s strength and share in the grief left behind by this tragedy.

Wes King, the son of slain victim Olivia King, remembers his mother as a woman who loved her community and stood strong in her faith and family.

“The hardest thing about the last year is to reconcile the fact that she’s gone and the undeniable fact that she shouldn’t be,” King said.

Collierville Fire Chief John Selberg will never forget that day.

He says the collaboration between police and fire was above and beyond.

“The store was not secure, but they went in and began that patient treatment immediately,” said Chief Selber. “What I saw that day, they saved several lives and that was one thing I was most proud about.”

Friday’s remembrance was also about recognizing and embracing the community’s grief.

Angela Hamblen-Kelly with Baptist Center for Good Grief says she’s seen this community come together and support one another over the last year.

“When we as a community experience trauma, we are pulled to each other,” said Hamblen-Kelly. “We want to be with each other. We want to be with people who have that shared pain, that shared experience. And that’s what healing is. It comes through sharing and allowing other people to carry your grief.”

One year after losing his mother, King thanked the people of Collierville for their love and support.

He shared a message for change so this doesn’t happen to another family:

“Let’s remember the things that happen in our culture that lead to these events and ask what can we do,” King said. “What can we do differently? Because clearly what we’re doing is not working, and I think that starts with prayer. I think that start’s with forgiveness. I think that starts with love. Real love. God’s love.”

The Shelby County Crime Victims and Rape Crisis Center along with the Baptist Center for Good Grief provided resources for the community.

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