Families reflect on tragedy 1 year after Clackamas mall shooting

Families reflect on tragedy 1 year after Clackamas mall shooting

Families reflect on tragedy 1 year after Clackamas mall shooting

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by Pat Dooris, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 12 at 12:29 PM

CLACKAMAS, Ore--- A year after the Clackamas Town Mall shooting the families of the victims struggle to get on with their lives.

Steve Forsyth died at the scene. The popular advertising executive had started his own business and was selling wall hangings at a kiosk he'd rented at the mall. His brother in law remembers getting the terrible news then having to notify family members and finally, Steve’s son. “There is no good way to do it. It’s by far the worst moment of my life. I mean as bad as the news was to hear about Steve, having to tell his son was worse. That was the worst,” Kemp said.

Cindy Yuille was a hospice nurse shopping for Christmas presents. She also died from the gunfire at the mall. “I'm having a rough time, actually," said her daughter Jenna Passalacqua.

A year later her family struggles and moves forward at the same time. “It’s not something that ever goes away. You're always living with it. I don't cry every day anymore,” said Robert Yuille, Cindy’s husband.

The anniversary brings powerful emotions. “I think we're pretty angry. I'm pretty angry. It shouldn’t have happened. This was not an accident,” said Jenna Passalacqua, Cindy Yuille’s daughter.

Both families channeled their grief into action. They've become politically active and are trying to change gun laws to require they be safely stored--and eliminate background check loop holes.

Steve Forsyth's brother in law is working on releasing his anger. “What good would it do? It’s not going to change the events of that day. It doesn’t bring Steve back. All it will do is eat up the person who holds the anger and the resentment. And forgiveness is a very powerful thing, and it’s very freeing," said Paul Kemp.

Everyone grieves and heals at their own pace. Cindy's Yuille's husband still feels raw emotion when asked about forgiveness. “No god damn way. I'm not gonna give that guy forgiveness. He does not deserve it,” Robert Yuille said. Her daughter is not ready to forgive either. “I would like to say I am capable of something like that but I don’t really see why I would ever forgive that."

A year might not be enough to heal such painful wounds. The shooting left one achingly clear message for Robert Yuille. “This sort of thing can happen to anybody, just, so easily. Make sure you say goodbye to your loved ones,” he said.

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