Days after a shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan left six people dead, a woman who lost both her husband and son in the attack is paying homage to them in a series of Facebook posts.
Richard Smith, 53, was car shopping with his 17-year-old son Tyler at the Seeyle Kia dealership when the shooting occurred. Richard's wife, Laurie, described her feelings when she first discovered the tragic news.
"I've never prayed so hard in my life as I did when I was dialing 911 Sunday at 1:45am when neither of them were home when I got home," she wrote on Facebook. "My heart sunk when I opened our bedroom door and your daddy wasn't there and went downstairs and Ty wasn't there. I prayed so hard that the 911 operator would confirm that it wasn't them at Seeyle... but that wasn't the case."
Laurie posted on Facebook about to her husband, along with a photo of them.
"My love...my soulmate....my best friend...I cannot believe you are gone...no matter what..."Forever's as Far as I'll go," she wrote on Facebook. "I miss you so much, Rich, you were you were my best friend, my rock and I'm lost without you."
Laurie then posted a tribute to Tyler.
"My precious baby boy...taken away before he even graduated from high school," she wrote. "I am so grateful to have been blessed with a sweet, caring, witty, handsome boy for almost 18 years....so proud of who he had become as a young man. I miss you, bud."
Tyler, a senior at Matawan High School, received numerous online tributes from his school. One teacher made Tyler her profile picture on Facebook.
Laurie also posted a message for her daughter Emily.
"I promise and vow with every ounce of energy and love that i have that i will take care of you and will be there for you and will devote myself to making life as awesome as i can for you," she wrote on Facebook. "It won't be anywhere near what having your daddy and brother here would be...but i love you, sweets, more than life itself and you will always be able to count on me....forever yours...pinky promise. I love you so much."
Laurie then thanked her friends for their incredible support during this time.
"I want to thank everyone for the unbelievable outpouring of care, concern, love, prayer , meals, help....and everything that you've shown me and my family," she wrote. "I am numb....I don't know what to say or do and so i wanted to make sure everyone knows how much we appreciate everything...because I am often not thinking clearly and may not say it when i should. Thank you all for your support as Em and I and our whole family try to figure out how to go on after losing our son, grandson, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, husband, soulmate, uncle, daddy, son-in-law, love of my life."