Vigil held for Oxford kids who were shot by father
OXFORD, Mass. (WHDH) -- A vigil was held in Oxford Monday night after a man fatally shot his 7-year-old daughter and critically wounded his 9-year-old son before turning the gun on himself Saturday.
It was a somber evening in Oxford. Hundreds packed a local park, many wearing green and pink, the favorite colors of 9-year old Owen Benway and his little sister, 7-year-old Abigail.
“Great family, both of them. Wonderful people -- we’re just all in shock over this,” said Nadia Pavao.
The district attorney says on Saturday 51-year old Daryl Benway shot and critically injured his son Owen, then shot and killed his daughter Abigail before turning the gun on himself. There is a report that nine years ago the Department of Children's and Families investigated an allegation of abuse and neglect involving an older child in the family.
Owen, who was a cub scout, remains in the intensive care unit at the hospital.
“We’re not here to judge people, we’re here to bring our kids and let everyone know what Oxford’s all about. And we’re just trying the best we can to get through this,” said Mike Elliot.
The vigil was put together in less than 48 hours, but it still drew hundreds in this small close-knit town.
Many brought their children too -- although some Oxford parents admit, it's been difficult explaining what happened.
“I just tell her that she’s up in heaven with an angel. That’s all I say,” said Kimberly Shays.
“I’m almost 50 and I can’t comprehend it. How does an 8-year-old comprehend what has happened,” said Tom Barter.
Long-time friends of the Benway's say they were a happy, normal family, and recently fell on hard times. But no one could imagine it would come to this.
“When I just heard about it I just -- I couldn’t believe it. Even to this day, we’re here and it still just doesn’t seem real,” said Pavao.
Friends and neighbors told 7News the Benways were separated and the mother wasn’t even living at the home. They told 7News the mother has spent the entire time since Saturday night at her son’s side in the hospital. She was not at Monday night's vigil.