SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The shooting deaths of a Sandy mother and her young son have rocked a normally quiet Sandy neighborhood, Saturday they came together to show their support to their families.
Jen Wilhite, a friend of the Rackley Family, helped to organize the event.
“We have an amazing community, we have always supported each other,” Wilhite said. “But going through this tragedy together has really brought us closer, we just wanted to do something to try to add some hope and some unity after this tragedy we have experienced.”
Wilhite says she believes people heal better when they heal together, rather than try to do it alone.
“The support that we got this morning has been absolutely amazing,” Wilhite said. “Everyone keeps saying their hearts go out to them and they want to do something because we don’t always know what to do. So we organized this event and the response was overwhelming.”
Balloons were put up, notes were written, and ribbons placed throughout the neighborhood. Kids were allowed to write with sidewalk chalk from Brookwood Elementary to the scene where the incident took place.
Brookwood Elementary is where 6-year-old Jase Rackley and his 11-year-old brother attended school. The brothers were among the four people shot during Tuesday’s shooting rampage by Jeremy Patterson, a man who had been stalking the boys mother, Memorez Rackley. Both Jase and Memorez did not survive. Jase’s brother, and another female juvenile were also shot, but survived.
Patterson then took his own life.
Police said Memorez Rackley was being stalked by Jeremy Patterson that resulted in Tuesday’s confrontation. The woman was walking with her sons along Alta Canyon Drive when they got a ride from a Good Samaritan.
“It appears that Memorez and Jeremy were in some kind of verbal argument and the Good Samaritan saw what was going on and stopped to help,” said Sgt. Jason Nielsen with Sandy police.
After offering Rackley and her two boys a ride, Patterson rammed the Good Samaritan’s vehicle then got out of the car and grabbed a gun. Witnesses saw Patterson fire first into the backseat where Rackley’s sons were and then turn his attention to Memorez Rackley who was in the front passenger seat.
The Good Samaritan and her three daughters fled and made it to safety. One of the woman’s daughter’s was shot in the leg.
The 11-year old whose name has not been officially released is making a full recovery at a local hospital.
Neighbors said a year ago, the 11-year old suffered a brain aneurysm and with treatment made a full recovery.
The community is also coming together both to heal and show support for the family.
“Yes, there’s evil everywhere and there’s no explaining it,” said Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan said. “But look for the good. That’s what we’re asking people to do.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.