An emotional candlelight gathering in St. John Parish honors the victims of a shooting at a family business.
“We want it to be known that we care about St. John,” says an announcer from the back of a trailer turned into a temporary platform. “We care about LaPlace.”
And they care about Steve Finkbeiner, shot and killed at the same feed store he ran for 28 years. His wife Connie is recovering from gunshot wounds.
“Like family. They were just like family,” says a friend at the vigil.
“I can feel their pain. It’s very devastating,” says another.
St. John sheriff investigators say there are suspects but so far no arrests. Their office released video surveillance of suspects fleeing the feed store. One video shows a man running with the stores cash register under his arm. Another video clip shows a second person, who according to the sheriff, also was involved in the attack.
He says two robbers initially went into the store inquiring about shots for a pet. Then left briefly, only to return, rob the place and shoot the couple who owned the store.
A family member took the platform to make a symbolic stand of their own.
“I think the best way to make sure that what they did was not in vain is what we’re going to do tomorrow, and that’s open that door and we’re going to be open for business.”
Detectives say they believe whoever killed Finkbeiner lives near the feed store.
Finkbeiner’s homicide marks the first in St. John Parish this year.