The UCSB Events Center will be a place of remembrance Sunday afternoon, as local residents and community leaders gather at a memorial for the Goleta resident and six U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees killed by Jennifer San Marco on Jan. 30.
The service is open to the public and begins at 2 p.m. A group of local community leaders, clergy and organization representatives will express their feelings about the tragedy and share their condolences with the victims’ family members. City of Goleta Public Information Officer Kirsten Zimmer Deshler said representatives from the Community West Bank will also be present to accept donations to a fund to help the victims’ families.
The memorial will commemorate the lives of Charlotte Colton, Ze Fairchild, Nicola Grant, Maleka Higgins, Dexter Shannon and Guadalupe Schwartz – all of whom worked at the Goleta Postal Distribution Station where San Marco opened fire. Beverly Graham, the former neighbor San Marco killed earlier that evening, will also be remembered.
Goleta Mayor Jonny Wallis and 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone , will both speak on behalf of the community. Wallis said she plans the address the emotional impact of the shooting on Goleta residents.
“This [is a] time of intense sorrow,” Wallis said.
Postmaster General John Potter will speak on behalf of the USPS and will grant medals to family members of the deceased. Congresswoman Lois Capps will present flags to the victims’ relatives. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson will speak at the event about local law enforcement’s perspective on the incident.
Deshler said the memorial event will also include reactions and readings from local clergy, and a performance by over 100 musicians from 15 different organizations, led by Nathan Kreitzer, chair of the Santa Barbara City College Music Dept.
Firestone said political leaders, local officials and residents from the entire Central Coast are expected to attend.
UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, who will speak at the memorial, said he understands the grief that the shooting caused for members of the UCSB community, as well as local residents in Goleta and Santa Barbara.
“We will mourn and grieve together,” Yang said. “And together, we will begin the healing process. I know that many members of our campus community have expressed a desire to help, especially our colleagues, who know and work with the family members who have suffered such a terrible loss.” Wallis said UCSB officials are largely responsible for coordinating the location and logistics of the event.
“I would like to thank the UCSB community,” Wallis said. “They’ve come together, through Chancellor Yang, to provide a forum for us all.” Yang, who said he felt honored and humbled by the mayor’s remarks, said he plans to welcome local residents to the campus in his speech.
Deshler said she thinks the event will give local residents a chance to grieve together for the seven victims of the shooting and discuss ways to help the victims’ families.
“This is an opportunity for the community to come together as one,” Deshler said.
Firestone said he thinks the memorial will help restore the morale and public image of Santa Barbara by showing the public that the community is still a good place to live.
“The world saw Santa Barbara in a not so good light,” Firestone said. “This is our community’s response.”