Community says goodbye to father, son killed in shooting spree

Posted at 10:54 PM, Feb 27, 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich., —The funerals for a father and son gunned down in last weekend's shooting spree were held Saturday at the Calvary Bible Church in Kalamazoo.

53-year-old Richard Smith and his son, 17-year-old Tyler Smith, were shot and killed in the parking lot of Seelye Ford Automotive on Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo. They were window shopping for cars, something they did often, according to family and friends.

The funeral began at 12:30 p.m. at the Calvary Bible Church in Kalamazoo.

"It was tough to get through," said 16-year-old Lou Chibende.

Chibende played soccer with Tyler, he remembers Tyler for knowing how to make others laugh.

"He would always have this smile on his face and you would constantly see that. He would try to make everyone's day better," said Chibende.

Stephen Hoard also attended Saturday services and knew the Smiths both personally and professionally.

"They were always full of jokes. There was never a day that I saw them or met with them without a smile or cracking a joke of some type," said Hoard.

"The amount of support that’s coming from the community is a little overwhelming, just like people who don’t even know Tyler and Rich. The support that was coming from it was outstanding," said Chibende.

Family, friends release balloons Saturday at 10:05pm to mark time the father and son were killed.

Family, friends release balloons Saturday at 10:05pm to mark the time the Rich & Tyler were killed.

A memorial was also held Saturday night to honor the Smith family where family and friends launched balloons into the air at exactly 10:05 p.m., the moment both Rich and his son Tyler were shot and killed.

Despite a devastating blow this community has been dealt, the people of Kalamazoo are determined to remain Kalamazoo strong.

"We must go forward, we cannot dwell on this because those two in there that we celebrated their life with did not focus on the negative, it was the positive."