Neighbors honor Parkville shooting victims while keeping focus on 14-year-old survivor

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PARKVILLE, Mo. -- After a tragic shooting happened in their community, neighbors say a vigil for the victims of Sunday's murder-suicide will focus on the positive.

Platte County investigators say the suspected shooter, Doug Pauling, murdered his ex-wife, his mother and his mother's new husband before taking his own life.

Maggie Girard was one of the people killed.

"I didn't want her to be forgotten," said Wilma Vandebrink, one of Girard's neighbors. "I didn't want that lady to be forgotten."

Vandebrink planned a vigil Tuesday night to honor the victims and to show strength to the only survivor, the 14-year-old daughter of Pauling and Girard.

Vandebrink remembers Girard as a kind person and a caring mother.

"She would bake cookies. She would bake cakes, and every neighbor got something," Vendebrink said.

That sense of generosity and caring in Girard is why her neighbors wanted to honor her Tuesday night. Those are traits people say they also saw in her ex-mother-in-law, Sharmalee Pauling, who was also murdered.

"She's so wonderful and caring, and that's why she volunteered," said Vicki Krehbiel, director of counseling at Platte Woods United Methodist Church. "She wanted to be there to help others."

For about four years, Sharmalee Pauling was a member at the Platte Woods United Methodist Church. She helped with different events in its care ministry.

"She went out of her way to serve and to do things for other people," Krehbiel said.

As those close to them remember those lost in Sunday's tragedy, they're keeping their focus on the 14-year-old girl who survived.

"That joy that she would have seen in Sharmalee's eyes since she connected with Carl, I'm just sure Sharmalee would want her granddaughter to know that you can experience that someday, and you will overcome this," Krehbiel said.

Family and friends set up a GoFundMe page for the 14-year-old survivor. Click or tap here to donate.

See more coverage of Tuesday night's vigil on FOX4 News at 9 and 10 p.m.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Click on the boxes below for our FOX 4 You Matter reports and other helpful phone numbers and resources.

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