ELKHART, Ind. (CBS) — The family of Krystle Dikes, one of the victims of the shooting Wednesday night at a grocery store in Elkhart, had an emotional question-and-answer session today with reporters.
The parents and step-parents of Krystle Dikes spoke in the sanctuary at First Baptist Church in Elkhart, where the 20-year-old victim’s mother is a member and where she has been finding comfort since the shooting death of her daughter on Wednesday night at a grocery store nearby.
Dikes was stocking shelves in the Martin’s Supermarket, when, police say, 22-year-old Shawn Bair shot and killed Dikes and 44-year-old Rachael Godfried, who was shopping in the store, before police burst in and shot him to death.
While State Police continue to search for a motive, the parents and step-parents of Krystle Dikes invited the press to the church Saturday, where they talked about the young woman who was full of life and looking forward to the future.
They also thanked the police for putting a quick end to the situation, preventing more families from going through the pain that they’re experiencing.
And they thanked people for the thousands of calls, emails, phone calls, cards and letters – many from complete strangers around the world – that they say they have received. he family said it means a lot.
Krystle’s mother, Juanita Whitacre, talked about having lunch with her daughter hours before the shootings. She said they watched the snow fall and talked about Krystle’s future, jobs, boys and school.
Her mother said she is getting strength from her faith and that she knows her daughter is ok now in heaven.
Her father, Shawn Dikes called the police officers “heroes.”
Her step-mother, Charlotte Dikes, said the family is just trying to get by moment to moment. Her step-father, David Whitacre, said, “If you lay down your head tonight and you hear the angels singing louder and dancing harder, it’s because of Krystle.”
Her father said she was a strong-willed and extraordinary young woman who was friends with everyone she met.
He said she was a singer, dancer, artist, photographer and poet. But she had a gift, he said, in her love for caring for special needs children. She wanted to open her own daycare one day.
Her family doesn’t know if Krystle knew the suspect, Shawn Bair. Police say he lived near the store and was a regular customer before walking in Wednesday night with a semi-automatic handgun and a large hunting knife and, after walking around in a trench coat for about 30 minutes, started shooting.
Police responded in 3 minutes, and immediately located Bair, who had been holding the store manager at gunpoint, and shot him to death.