Officer Chris Kirn was working patrol when the call came in: There’s a man on top of the Maple Street Bridge and he’s threatening to jump. It was about 9:15 a.m. on a Thursday in October, cold but sunny. A slight wind. If not for the young man, thought to be in his 20s, clinging to the outside of the bridge’s tunnel-like chain-link fence, it could have been any other autumn day.
No one can say what motivated Sam Strahan to face the shooter, rather than flee into a classroom as bullets whizzed down the hallway. While the carnage still is hard to fathom, it might have been worse if it weren’t for Sam’s final courageous act.
Starting in 1989, Stan Malnar ran the maternity clinic at Sacred Heart serving low-income women, worked at Hospice of Spokane helping families say goodbye to loved ones, and spent his spare time giving homilies and volunteering at House of Charity.
The day after she was released from prison, Layne Pavey went to Target to buy makeup, where she encountered children for the first time in almost two years. “I was so terrified the parents would know a felon was walking around, free, among their children,” Pavey said.
The first semester had just ended last year and Rogers High School Principal Lori Wyborney was walking with a 20-year veteran teacher, who turned, looked back at still-new structure and said: “We are never going to fix this.”