IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The night holiday shopping turned into horror

Among the victims of a teenage gunman who opened fire Monday in a crowded shopping mall, killing five people and wounding four, were a couple picking out a wedding ring, a father and son buying Valentine’s Day cards and a woman celebrating a bonus she’d gotten at work.
Vanessa Quinn
Rich Quinn says goodbye to his wife, Vanessa, during her funeral on Friday in Sandy, Utah. Vanessa was among five killed when a gunman opened fire at the Trolley Square mall Monday night. She was there to pick out a wedding ring that she and Rich had been saving for.Douglas C. Pizac / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Vanessa Antrobus Quinn was meeting her husband at a jewelry store to pick out the wedding ring they couldn’t afford when they got married. A.J. Walker and his dad were buying Valentine’s Day cards for their family. Teresa Ellis was celebrating a bonus she’d gotten at work.

They were among the victims when a teenage gunman opened fire Monday in a crowded shopping mall, killing five people and wounding four.

Sulejman Talovic, 18, began his rampage in the evening, just as the Trolley Square mall began to fill up with people eating dinner at its five restaurants or shopping in its many stores. Talovic died in a shootout with police, and investigators have not determined a motive for the attack.

Vanessa Antrobus and Richard Quinn were married four years ago but didn’t have enough money for a ring.

A wedding promise unfulfilled
“I was meeting her there to buy a wedding ring. I called her and told her to come,” Richard Quinn said, sobbing. His 29-year-old wife was killed before they could find each other in the large shopping center.

At a wake Friday, there were two wedding rings on her hand, one purchased by her husband and another donated by her employer. Richard Quinn will keep one and the other will be given to her parents, family members said.

A.J. Walker, 16, and his 52-year-old father, Jeffrey, had just finished shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts for their family when the shooting began. Jeffrey Walker was killed; A.J. was shot in the head.

The teenager was in serious condition Friday. Family spokesman Mark McDougal said the boy knows his father was shot, but his family has not told him Jeffrey Walker died. Doctors recommended limiting the information the boy receives because he is recovering from brain surgery and faces several more operations.

Teresa Ellis, 29, and Brad Frantz, 24, were on a date at the mall, celebrating a bonus she had received at work and doing some Valentine’s Day shopping, according to Frantz’s stepfather Steve Wangerin. Both were killed.

Fighting to live
Ellis, who grew up in Jamestown, N.Y., loved the outdoors and children and was “like a mother to her younger sisters,” her obituary said.

“She was witty and could always come up with a quick joke,” said Nathan Ellis, her husband, who separated from her but said he remained on good terms.

Frantz, the father of a 3-year-old, worked in construction and was particularly proud of helping to build the Mormon temple in Rexburg, Idaho.

Carolyn Tuft, 44, and her daughter, Kirsten Hinckley, 15, were in a card shop at the mall when they were shot. Kirsten died. Tuft was upgraded from critical to serious condition Friday afternoon, said Jess Gomez, a spokesman for LDS Hospital.

Tuft was “amazing” doctors with her progress, friend Jean Tracy said. Tuft, who suffered gunshots to a shoulder and the lower back, has been up and moving around. On Thursday, she ate her first real meal since the shooting — Mexican food and ice cream, Tracy said.

Remembering the fallen
A memorial service for Kirsten was held Friday, but the family will wait until Tuft is able to attend before holding a funeral. Kirsten’s classmates tied red ribbons on school grounds in her memory.

Also wounded were Shawn Munns, 34, and Stacy Hansen, 53.

Shawn Munns, the first person shot, had just finished dinner with his wife and stepchildren. After he was wounded, Munns called his wife, who had driven to the mall separately and was leaving through a different exit. He warned her to get away, then staggered into the Hard Rock Cafe and told people to lock the door and call 911.

His sister-in-law, Jodie Sparrow, says his sense of humor was helping him and the rest of their family cope. Munns’ condition was upgraded from serious to fair condition Friday afternoon, Gomez said.

Hansen’s family released a statement describing him as “a fighter” and expressing hope he would improve. He remained in critical condition.