Moment of silence honors Columbia mall shooting victims one week later
7:40 PM, Feb 1, 2014
10:00 PM, Feb 1, 2014
Dozens gathered at Columbia mall Saturday morning to pause and remember. They were able to do just that at 11:15 a.m., exactly one week after the deadly shooting inside the mall.
"We wanted to come here and just say the mall is safe. It's safe to be here again," said Lessie Harvey, who brought her granddaughter along with her.
Well-wishers gathered in the center of the mall writing messages and tossing flowers into the memorial fountain.
Although many of them didn't know Tyler Johnson or Brianna Benlolo, they still feel a connection.
Harvey held on tight to her granddaughter, thinking of Benlolo and her young son.
"To hear that she had a baby. I mean, I have a grand baby. I can't imagine what's in store for a baby who never knows it's mother," Harvey said.
Upstairs at the boarded up Zumiez skate shop where Johnson and Benlolo were killed, messages of love, hope, and remembrance continue to fill the space.
Anthony Watkins didn't come with the intention of writing anything, but after standing and reflecting, he wrote 'Love now. Tomorrow isn't promised'.
"So many things like this are starting to happen like a trend. It's just happening, schools, and colleges and malls and movies. You just have to hold tight to your family and your friends now because it's not promised," Watkins said.