Dad’s dying wish astounds as thrice-shot mom saves two of their kids


“You never underestimate the power of a mother to protect her children. To have three gunshot wounds and to get off that bridge and save her children is incredible.”  – Dr. Ray Georgen of Theda Clark Medical Center

Mother-of-three Erin Stoffel managed to escort her 5-year-old daughter, Selah, and 7-year-old Son, Ezra, off of a scenic pedestrian bridge in Menah, Wisconsin after a gunman opened fire Sunday. Stoffel then sent Ezra to get help amid the gunfire. She managed all of this after being shot three times.

In the hail of bullets her husband Jon and 11-year-old daughter Olivia died.

Police stated that 27-year-old Sergio Valencia Del Toro randomly opened fire at strangers on the bridge after an argument with his ex-fiancee. 31-year-old Adam Bentdahl also lost his life in the tragedy before Del Toro shot himself to death.

Erin Stoffel, who is listed in critical condition, is being called a hero. Winnebago County coroner Barry Busby said, “True heroes going into an act of fire, where they don’t know what’s out there on this unprotected bridge, but trying to save other people. And I think their fast response helped save a lot of people.” Menasha police Chief Tim Styka added, “Despite being shot multiple times, Ms. Stoffel was able to … (instruct) her young son to go run for assistance. Absolutely amazing.”

Olivia and Jon Stoffel / gofundme

Via a gofundme page set up for the family, a post has stated that Erin is awake, conscious and communicating by writing on a dry erase board. In the post Jon Stoffel’s dying wish, as told to his wife, was revealed:

The family would like to make it known that Erin said Jon’s last words to her after he was shot were, “Forgive the shooter.” We truly love because Christ first loved us. This was the heart of a man who walked the talk — his dying breath and last wish was only that his wife forgive the gunmen.

Dr. Georgen stated that the early stages of Ms. Stoffel’s recovery are going well.

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