Hundreds gather at vigil for slain chiropractor

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YELM, Wash. -- Hundreds gathered at the Yelm City Park to grieve for a man they still can’t believe this community has lost.

Robert Sowers family were among those present. His brothers-in-law say the family is heartbroken, but felt touched by the outpouring of support.

“His children are devastated,” said Joe Wilson, Sowers’ brother-in-law. “His wife is devastated. They're learning to deal with this. Bob was the leader of this family.”

Earlier in the day, Shine Specialties and Promotions spent time preparing for a vigil honoring Dr. Sowers, as they made buttons and programs. They’re still in shock over his death.

“He was a healer, an active member of the community, and the loss of him will felt harder and harder in the days come,” said Lori Shine, who helped organize the vigil.

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives say Robert Knapp walked into Sowers’ McKenna chiropractic office Wednesday, where Knapp’s wife works as a receptionist, then shot and killed the chiropractor before turning the gun on himself.

“Two families lost a daddy, a husband,” said Shine.

The family said they still don’t know a motive or what led up to the violence. But both men are survived by their wives and children, and organizers say it is important that those who came could mourn with both families.