HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mike Stangel was on the mainland with his wife and grandchildren when the news came that his son, Toby Stangel, allegedly shot three people at random last Friday, killing one of them.
Mike Stangel was among those who took part in a silent march against domestic and criminal violence at the State Capitol, and remembered the three victims and others who died in cases of domestic violence.
The small but passionate gathering included some domestic violence survivors.
Stangel, the pastor of North Shore Christian Fellowship, was one of those who prayed. And then he spoke for the first time about the shooting incident and his son.
"We want to express our grief, our sincere condolences, to the three families so tragically affected by this crisis, this senseless act of violence," he said.
Stangel also heard from one of the neighbors of Tammy Nguyen, who died in the shooting spree.
"We will definitely miss her, and I just pray that the family is able to find healing in all of this hurt at this time, and let them know that we're here to support them," said neighbor Stephen Maybir.
The few dozen who attended then silently marched around the State Capitol to remember Nguyen. Marchers also commemorated Theresita Hernane, who was allegedly killed by her adopted son; Susan Brockert, 44, a Washington state woman who died, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, in a Kohala coast resort on the Big Island; and Glenwood Ferreira, 79, who died after he was beaten in his Kalihi home.
Pastor Stangel prayed with some of his church members before facing the media for the first time to talk about his son. He said his family is baffled by what happened.
"Well, Toby has had a history of drugs," Stangel said, "but he entered himself into a drug treatment program, and was under care as well and was doing better. So we thought he had hit bottom and was on the upswing here, so again, we're equally as surprised.
Stangel said he hasn't able to talk to his son yet, but had something ready to say to him.
"We love him, we pray for him," said the pastor. "God has a plan for him. Unfortunately now the plan is going to include prison. But we've always loved him with an unconditional love."