HESSTON, Kansas – Citizens were encouraged to show their strength in a town hall meeting Sunday afternoon.
“We’ve taken on as our battle cry ‘HesstonStrong'”, said Hesston City Administrator Gary Emry.
During the meeting, Hesston Mayor David Kauffman said the community wants to move on toward recovery. He said the investigation into the shooting that left four people dead and 14 wounded is drawing to a close.
“The only way to start the healing process is to have meetings like this.”
Kauffman also pointed out that many of those killed or wounded were from Newton. He said even those who don’t live in Hesston are still a part of one big community.
A special statement on the Newton Police Department’s Facebook page talks about how members of the department are standing strong with Hesston. Click here to go to the Newton PD Facebook page.
Emery told those gathered that the positive response to the tragedy has been overwhelming. Many people who attended the meeting wore white ribbons to show their support for the victims.
“Now we move forward. Now we heal,” said Emry.
Emry also read a statement from Excel officials saying their thoughts and prayers are with those who were killed or wounded during the shootings.
One community that has been in touch with Hesston was asking how it could get cards and letters into the hands of the victims, Emry said. He told the crowd those cards should be sent to Excel, which will get into the hands of those to whom they’re addressed.
Emry also said he had been told by FBI officials, Hesston’s response was the best-organized of any he had experienced.
There were several lessons learned from Thursday’s tragedy. City Administrator Emry said there will always be things that could have been done better.