Wounded neighbor, wife want to thank community

A year removed from the shooting that still defies explanation, Paco Larsen and his wife, Cathy, have a single focus: how best to say thanks to the people who helped them through.

The Larsens are pitching in with their neighbor, Linda Fine, at an open house today so they can thank people who offered to provide meals and other help.

“We’ve been trying to figure out how to say thank you,” Paco Larsen said Friday.

Least of his concerns is the bullet still lodged in him, fired at him by the gunman who had moments earlier fired shots that killed Terry Fine and Flo Gallagher and left Linda Fine seriously injured.

“It zings me every now and then,” he said.

Someday, it will have to come out, Cathy Larsen said.

Someday, though. For the present, the Larsens are more interested in Linda Fine’s well-being and that of their neighbors in the north Grand Junction neighborhood where the Oct. 11, 2008, shooting occurred.

“This is a neighborhood of really close friends now,” Cathy Larsen said.

The Larsens were surprised by the outpouring in the days immediately after the shooting.

“I believe we had a thousand dinner rolls here” delivered by well-wishers,  Cathy Larsen said.

“The school system, they were on it,” her husband said, with offers of counseling and other help, enough so the Larsens felt comfortable sending their children to school that Monday.

Their own faith was unshaken and helped them through as well, Paco Larsen said.

“My family and I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation and thanks for all the support and care shown to us from our neighbors, friends and professional colleagues in our time of need,” Larsen said in a written statement. “That support and care has sustained us through this ordeal. In the past year we have come to truly appreciate what a wonderful community this is and how lucky we are to live here.”

Horrific as the day was, “Good things came of it,” he said. “We’re grateful for that.”


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