Father of shooting victim: 'Hug your kids tonight' - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Father of shooting victim: 'Hug your kids tonight'

Savannah Walker (Source: Walker family) Savannah Walker (Source: Walker family)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A father is sharing a message after his daughter was killed when someone opened fire at a concert on Saturday night.

Savannah Walker died from a gunshot wound at 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, the Jefferson County Coroner's office said. She was one of six people shot at the Tim Faulkner Gallery shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday.

Savannah Walker’s father, Dean Walker, said his daughter and two friends had decided to go to the Tim Faulkner Gallery for a concert, anticipating a fun evening together.

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But the three friends were separated when someone began shooting inside the gallery.

“It was just chaos going for the doors, as you would expect, when the girls got outside they couldn't find Savannah,” said Walker.

Savannah’s friends called Dean Walker and told him to rush to Tim Faulkner Gallery.

“So I spent the next three and a half hours, standing by a yellow tape and the longer you stand the more you know,” said Walker.

Witnesses said Savannah was looking out for others in her last moments, not surprising to her dad, who said she was always looking out for everyone.

“Savannah pushed people down and she took a shot directly to the chest,” said Walker, “She always thought about other people.”

Savannah was president of the club lacrosse team and a debate team member at University of Louisville. She and her brother were adopted so her family is reflective of many cultures, and that is reflected in how this 20 year-old lived her life.

“Someone who never judged anybody by their skin color, by how much money they had,” Walker explained, “She judged people on character.”

For Dean Walker, one unimaginable loss comes in the wake of another.

Walker’s wife (Savannah’s mother) died 30 days ago from pancreatic cancer. But Walker is still taking the time to inspire change and to share a message to community members.

“We need to have the backbone to stand up for our community and for our kids, don't shut your door when you see something that's going on, if you saw something tell someone who needs to know about it so something can change,” Walker said.

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This proud dad is asking people to be like Savannah; be more than a bystander, reach out to those who are in pain. Walker said he believes if someone had reached out to the shooter, they could have been on a different path. He’s sharing this message so no parent has to go through the same suffering, the Walker family is being put through.

“I've never been one to vocalize stuff but she taught me how,” Walker said. “Hug your kids tonight. That's it.”

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations to be put toward a scholarship fund, created in Deborah Walker’s memory. Walker was an educator most of her life, with a passion for equality in education.

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