On Oct. 21, friends, family and community members gathered at the Key Peninsula Civic Center to pay their final respects to David Long and his family.
About 60 people gathered in quiet remembrance of the 40-year-old Wauna man who was gunned down last August while shopping at the Food Market in Lake Kathryn Village.
Long died on Oct. 13 from complications of being shot with a handgun by Laura K. Sorenson, 20, who remains in custody at the Pierce County jail.
Two other men were wounded in the shooting and are on the mend.
At the time of this report, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer said one of Sorenson’s two attempted murder charges will likely be amended to murder once the examiner’s office has officially linked Long’s death to the shooting.
Long’s sister, Heidi Michaelson, and stepmom, Debbie Graham, spoke during the memorial and shared a touching slideshow that captured a glimpse of his life.
Family members were touched deeply by the outpouring of community support since the shooting.
Graham said members of the community held a fundraiser for Long at the civic center on Oct. 6, and haven’t left their side since.
“We wish to thank all of you who came to the fundraiser for David. The efforts of the Costless Pharmacy and Food Market employees will be remembered, as will the generosity exhibited by all of you who donated gifts and time,” said Graham.
Michaelson was the first to speak at the memorial. It was obvious to all the loss of her bother was devastating. She spoke from the heart. She talked about his likes and memories, and the importance of keeping promises.
“He was a wonderful brother and a wonderful uncle. I’m going to miss him terribly.
“I want to really thank everyone for coming out to the fundraiser and for taking the time to come here today. I can’t thank you all enough for your support,” Michaelson said.
There were a couple of tables adorned with flowers, pictures and special items that symbolized what Long loved to do the most.
He loved horses, motorcycles and music. A cowboy hat rested on a neatly coiled rope. There was a Harley Davidson motorcycle lamp, a bass guitar and even a KISS band member bobblehead. According to his friends, he will be remembered for being a kind giver, a loving brother, uncle and a happy stepson who loved life dearly.
Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor was there, too. He was overheard consoling with family members and calming friends. He said he’s seen too many of these senseless acts take their toll before.
“This is a tremendously sad event that this man would be murdered in this fashion. It’s a shock to the community and hurts everybody’s heart and ours (in law enforcement) as well,” Pastor said.
Stepdad Alex Graham also praised the community.
“During our 23 years on the peninsula, we have never seen such an outpouring of community concern and giving.
“The people who live out here on the Key Pen are truly the lifeblood of what makes America a loving and caring nation. We are honored to have you as neighbors. We are even prouder to call the peninsula our home,” he said.