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Family, friends gather to remember homeless woman killed in recent mass shooting in Anchorage

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:12 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -The family of Jaclyn Welcome admits the 37-year-old had problems —homeless and depressed. But that’s not all they wanted people to know about her.

“She was a sister and a best friend to many,” said one of her sisters, Amy Welcome. “I know that if she didn’t have anything, she found a way to get people what she needed.”

Amy Welcome is among those who spoke at a memorial service Sunday night at Delaney Park Strip. The family joined others as they tried to understand Welcome’s recent death.

She is the only person to have died in a mass shooting near downtown Anchorage on June 19. Four others survived.

“I think we all share the same wish,” said Desiree Montenegro, Jaclyn Welcome’s other sister. “My family and I just wish that we had more time with her, more days with her.”

It’s a difficult time for the family and others, but the message delivered that night is one of comfort.

“Although this is one sort of closure in the moment, the process of grieving goes on for a long, long time,” said Reverend Matthew Shultz of First Presbyterian Church, which helped organize the service. “So these faces around you and your loved ones will still be around you caring for you.”

It’s a message echoed by the family.

“In hard times like these, we can’t be alone,” said London Eleanore, Jaclyn Welcome’s niece. “We can only grow stronger together because nothing can change what has happened.”

The family said Jaclyn Welcome’s funeral will take place Friday morning at the Evergreen Memorial Chapel in Anchorage.

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