Family of shooting victim shares story

During a press conference at Shippensburg University on Oct. 16, the brother of Shippensburg elementary wrestling coach Bill Wolfe Jr. recounted the events that occurred during the mass shooting in Las Vegas that led to the death of Wolfe and 58 others.

Gathered in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, Shippensburg police officer Scott Wolfe read from a prepared statement and was joined by Bill’s sister-in-law, brother-in-law and pastor.

Scott said he was first alerted of the shooting around 2 a.m. on Oct. 2, when he received a phone call from Bill’s wife, Robyn. She said she was standing with Bill near the front of the stage as the shooting began. 

Robyn said Bill was one of the first to be shot, and held him in her arms until she was certain that he had died. Scott said Robyn was forced to leave Bill’s side as more shots continued to be fired in her direction, leading to uncertainty on Bill’s condition or the location of his body. 

It was not until the day after the shooting that Robyn received confirmation from the Clark County Coroner’s Office that she was correct in her “assessment of her husband’s lethal condition,” according to Scott. He said all signs indicate that Bill died within minutes of being shot and did not suffer.

“There’s grown men that wouldn’t have been able to deal with what [Robyn] dealt with,” Scott said. “However, there is no doubt in my mind [that] she will pick up the pieces and continue with her life [as] a stronger person, raising her two boys to become fine young men like their father.”

Scott told reporters that the reasons why Stephen Paddock, 64, decided to begin shooting at concert-goers are unimportant, and will not bring back the victims of this incident.

“At this point, we’re never gonna know [why]. The bottom line is, he shot my brother,” Scott said. “We can’t change history, it doesn’t really matter.”

Bill and Robyn arrived in Las Vegas on Sept. 28 with several friends in celebration of their 20th wedding anniversary. Bill said the highlight of his trip was being able to shake country singer Eric Church’s hand, according to Scott.

Bill’s funeral took place on Oct. 11 during a private service. Since his death, the Bill Wolfe Children’s Fund was founded to financially assist his sons, ages 14 and 11, as they grow up.

Scott said the best way to help Bill’s family is to remember this incident and be there for them as time passes, however it is necessary.

“Just be there — close friends and family know who they are. Just don’t forget [the shooting],” Scott said. “If I said this hasn’t affected my life, I’d be lying. It’s affected everyone.”

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