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Victims' friends and families share memories of loved ones
(WKTV) - The standoff in Herkimer ended Thursday, bringing relief to many residents in the Mohawk Valley and also shifting focus to those whose lives were lost. Family and friends of the four victims spoke with NEWSChannel 2 to give a better glimpse of who they were.
"I always remember him he walked with a bounce so you can always see Tom coming down the street," said Theresa Tangorra who lived next to Tom Stefka for twenty years. "He would be coming down the street and you'd see the bounce he had coming down when he walked."
Stefka was the employee that was killed at Gaffy's Fast Lube and Car Wash. Tangorra says she remembers him as a very spiritual man, having ministered at local churches, and as a devoted father to his three kids.
"He attended all of their events, Brian (his son) he was a car buff so was Tom they really had a lot going on with cars and motorcycles, in fact Tom gave Brian his motorcycle at one time," said Tangorra.
A family man is how Harry Montgomery is being described too. He was also killed at John's Barber Shop. Thursday, relatives were remembering the full life he led with a close family and as a volunteer to the Mohawk and Deerfield Fire Department.
"My dad enjoyed emergency traffic directing for the fire dept, helping people avoid the danger, that was my dad," said Linda Springer, Montgomery's oldest daughter. "Always thinking of everyone but himself."
Michael Renshaw was a twenty year veteran of the Mid-State Correctional Facility. His friend Matt Stubley is shocked knowing that his friend is now gone, killed so aimlessly while bringing his car to Gaffey's.
"I'm going to remember Mike the way he'd want to be remembered," said Stubley. "Big smile on his face, not complaining about anything."
Another correction officer Michael Ransear was also killed at the other shooting scene John's Barber Shop.
Remembering them, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association said, "These men spent their lives in service to their communities and their state and there are no words to express our profound grief over their untimely passing."
The Montgomery family is in the process of setting up a fund for people to send donations to, to help their family.
For information on that fund people can call Harry Montgomery's daughter, Linda Springer at 315-790-2362.