Friday night, the unthinkable happened at the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, as a security guard left the mall, and returned with a gun, then opened fire on a 20-year-old female employee. He shot her multiple times, ultimately killing her. The incident is yet another sad event in what is becoming an increasingly tragic past couple of months.

Last year, the big story was the unusually large string of bank robberies that went unsolved for most of the summer. Any attempts this year have been solved in hours. But since the beginning of April, it has become almost common place now to hear of heartbreaking tragedies. Back on April 9th, a crash killed 5 kids near Urbana. A few weeks later, a woman was stabbed to death in the Marion HyVee parking lot. Just in the last few days, an Amber Alert ended tragically with a burned out car in Missouri, and 3 members of a Cedar Falls family died in a car accident while on vacation, and now this.

Friday night, a disgruntled former security guard left the mall and went to his North Liberty home where he retrieved a handgun and then returned to the mall around 7:30 p.m. He walked up to 20-year-old Andrea Farrington at the Iowa Children's Museum kiosk near the carousel and fired 3 shots. An officer in the mall responded immediately, as mall attendants scattered for the exits. Shortly after, the mall was placed on lock down, and remained closed for the rest of the night and all day Saturday. The suspect was stopped near Walcott at 8:23 p.m., and was taken into custody without incident about an hour after the shooting. The suspect was known by sight and name by local officers who had talked to him previously during his time working security at the mall.

While some of the anchor stores were open for business Saturday, the mall as a whole did not re-open until after 11:00 a.m. Sunday following a memorial service and vigil for Farrington. The service was from 9:30-10:00 a.m. at the Children's Museum, where she worked in a job she loved, reportedly caring for Peter the turtle. The exhibit is to be dedicated to her. More than 100 people showed up for the memorial service Sunday, with many in attendance wearing teal, Farrington's favorite color. The museum would remain closed Sunday in her memory according to their facebook page.

When these tragedies occur, the community pulls together to help out.  Many of these have GoFundMe accounts which have been set-up to help the families.

For Andrea Farrington's family, click here for the GoFundMe

For Melissa Zeimet, the mother of the Amber Alert toddler, click here for the GoFundMe

For Erin Bartlett, wife and mother from Cedar Falls whose family died on vacation, click here for the GoFundMe.

For the family of Lynnsey Donald, who died in the Marion Hyvee Parking lot, click here for the GoFundMe

Victims of the Urbana car crash:

[VIA The Gazette/Iowa City Press Citizen]