'That's why we're here:' As Cascade Mall reopens, a community confronts its grief

BURLINGTON -- Outside the Cascade Mall, where five people were shot Friday, a memorial is growing. Flowers, cards and notes can be found.

So, too, can raw emotions as a community starts down a long road of healing.

“Because they were people, people that did nothing wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Ken Thornberry said.

Thornberry stood outside the Cascade Mall, where community members and strangers can bond over their grief. There, they share stories and reflect.

“What hurts the most is the guy that protected his wife,” Linda Stephen said.

That man, Chuck Eagan, is not someone Linda Stephen knew personally but she laid down flowers for Chuck and the four others killed when a gunman opened fire inside Macy’s Friday night.

“It’s so hard I just wanted to show my support,” Stephen said.

On Tuesday, The Skagit County Coroner's Office officially released the name of four victims.

The mall reopened Tuesday. But some say they are too shaken up to go inside.

Not Stanwood resident Vicki Keeling.

“That’s why we are here just for that reason instead of avoiding it and saying no we aren’t going to go there,” Keeling said.

The mall may be back open, but the Macy's where the shooting happened remains shut.



In these trying times, positive words help,

“All Skagit county loves each other and standing together strong,” Flores said.

Nothing showed that more than the hundreds who lined up along Burlington Boulevard Monday night.

“Skagit Strong I was very proud of our community,” Flores said.