In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the names of the victims and their stories are beginning to surface. Five people were killed and others were seriously injured as a crazed shooter opened fire near the luggage carousel in Terminal 2.
Four of the victims were traveling for pleasure and their names have been released; now, their families are planning funerals and shaking their heads in disbelief over such a senseless tragedy.
Virginia Beach resident Terry Anders, 62, was at the airport with his wife when he suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Anders’ daughter stated that her father had a birthday coming up at the end of the month, and was looking forward to a 16-day cruise with his wife, Ann.
Ryan Kim, Anders’ 37-year-old daughter, called her mother immediately after learning about the shooting. “I said, ‘Put dad on the phone. Put dad on the phone.” But her mother told her, “I can’t.”
“She said, ‘Because he’s been shot.’”
“This is just heart wrenching,” Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe stated on Friday. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of this. We’ve got to get to the bottom of the gun violence going on in the country. But obviously, all of our thoughts and prayers are with the family right now.”
Olga Woltering from Marietta, Georgia, was traveling to celebrate her husband Ralph’s 90th birthday. The couple planned to take a cruise, but they opted to change their flight to arrive early in Florida to avoid an ice storm in Georgia.
Woltering was involved in her church and loved by many. “Olga was one of the most joyful, loving, caring and committed people I have ever met,” her parish priest, Father Fernando Molina-Restrepo, told PEOPLE.
“This is a horrible tragedy for everyone here at Transfiguration, especially because Olga was so loved,” Molina-Restrepo continued. “May God give consolation to all of the victims of this tragedy and may God give eternal rest to those who died. Especially to our beloved Olga.”
Michael Oehme was also traveling with his wife, Kari, when he was killed in the gunfire. Kari is recovering from gunshot wounds to her neck and shoulder.
The couple was collecting their bags, preparing to head out for a Caribbean cruise. “They were supposed to leave today,” said Oehme’s sister Elizabeth Oehme-Miller, on Saturday. “They were happy to be going on another trip.”
Kari Oehme is expected to recover from her wounds, yet she will travel home without her best friend. “They were like peanut butter and jelly,” Adam Angeroth, a friend of Kari’s, told PEOPLE. “She is one of the happiest people I know. He was pretty quiet, pretty upbeat.”
Shirley Timmons, 70, from Senecaville, Ohio, was three weeks away from celebrating her 51st wedding anniversary with her husband, Steve Timmons. The couple planned to meet up with relatives and take a cruise together.
Shirley was killed at the airport and her husband was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery after being shot in the face. According to the couple’s grandson, Steve Reineccius, his grandfather remains hospitalized in critical condition.
“She was the most loving, passionate mother who had a love for life and truly sparkled,” Reineccius told CNN. “She will continue to sparkle through her husband, mother, three daughters, and eight grandchildren.”
Our deepest sympathies go out to these families during this time of mourning.
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