Community fills Sandy neighborhood with expressions of love after deadly shooting

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jun 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-10 21:41:12-04

SANDY, Utah -- Early Saturday morning, a Sandy neighborhood gathered with a common goal:

"I just hope it's a spot where they can feel better," said Elle Rafajko.

Elle goes to school with Myles Rackley, whose mom, Memorez, and brother, Jase, died in a tragic shooting Tuesday on Alta Canyon Drive.

Residents spent the morning tying ribbons and balloons to trees, signs, and mailboxes throughout the neighborhood. Everything was either dark or light blue, Myles and Jase's favorite colors.

“We’re thinking of the Rackley family, and we’re praying for them, and we love them, and all of our love and support goes to them," said classmate Alisa Allen.

Organizer Jen Wilhite called it an event to help everyone heal, as well as a show of support for the Rackley family. She said it's been hard for her and her family.

"My house is right there, so I was like… we heard it happen, we kind of saw it happen a little bit," said her son, Luke. "For me, it was too much to take in. I couldn't really believe it."

Organizer Chrislyn Woolsten said at her interfaith meeting earlier this week, they spoke of looking past the darkness and being a source of light for each other.

“I hope that just as the balloons are rising up that everyone can remember when there’s tragedy we have to look up," Woolsten said. "We have to remember the goodness."

The balloons she mentioned were from a balloon release Saturday morning, where kids who were friends with Jase and are friends with Myles, who is recovering in the hospital, let blue balloons float into the sky.

For this neighborhood, it started with the ribbons and sidewalks, on which they wrote thoughtful messages and well wishes. Then they went to the fire stations of the first responders who were there in their time of need. They brought signed "Thank You" posters, donuts and cookies. They plan to visit the police departments on Monday.

"Let’s make it beautiful and show that we can come together as a community out of this tragedy," Willhite said.

Anyone who would like to help the victims’ family pay for funeral and memorial services can send donations to the Rackley Memorial Fund at Mountain America Credit Union.