SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — People gathered tonight for a vigil to remember a 36-year-old Sioux Falls man lost to gun violence.
The vigil for Tunis Lomax was, as you might imagine, mournful and somber. Cynthia Lomax of Sioux Falls identified a shooting victim as her husband Tunis, whom she says was brought to a hospital but died from his injuries.
Tunis’ family remembers him as a loving and caring husband, father, brother and friend.
“Everybody that’s been coming over, they always say the same thing. ‘Oh, he’s so good. He’s so nice.’ He’s always ready to help, always. He’s a very very friendly person. All the people he come across, they like him. Whoever that is involved with this, we need justice,” the victim’s wife Cynthia Lomax said.
“He’s so loving, caring. He doesn’t ever want to see you sad. Whenever you are sad about something, he wants to make sure he put a smile on your face. I just talked to him day before yesterday. I was just just so shocked when they called me yesterday and said he was shot and he’s dead,” the victim’s sister Victoria Lomax Cole said.
Sioux Falls Police say a report that someone was shot had officers responding to the East 26th Street and South Bahnson Avenue area around 2 a.m. Saturday. This is in east Sioux Falls, not far north of Harvey Dunn Elementary School. There’s now a memorial for Tunis nearby.
“I woke up immediately from my bed. I was like oh no, somebody got shot, so I went to my mom’s room to wake her up to inform her that somebody got shot. And then she went to window, saw our car there, and then she went downstairs and she saw him just laying there,” the victim’s daughter Value Lomax said.
“They called the ambulance, they rushed him to the hospital and they after an hour and the police came back and said he didn’t make it,” Cynthia Lomax said.
Toni Rottman and Carole Duerksen live nearby.
“I was back in my bedroom and all of sudden I hear like, ‘pop pop pop,’ and I like stopped and I thought to myself, I did not just hear gunfire. It’s not usually around here, and next thing you know I hear sirens and they’re getting closer and closer, and then I see lights,” Rottman said.
“I didn’t hear anything happen until the police were knocking on our doors. They came and knocked on all the doors to account for everybody and to see if anybody heard or saw anything. All the neighbors are very upset about this, because they all think Tunis was such a great guy. He was always friendly,” Duerksen said.
Nagbe Smith had been friends with Tunis while they each lived in Connecticut. They were friends in South Dakota, too.
“This morning, I woke up from bed and I was just, tears run out of my eyes because I couldn’t imagine my little kids, leaving them this early, so I kind of put myself in his shoes. This is something that we never saw coming. Never expected such a thing like this. A young man. A promising young man,” Smith said.
Now the family wants answers.
“We know that he’s not going to come back anymore in our life. We need justice,” Lomax Cole said.
Additional information on what police have described as a homicide investigation is expected at tomorrow morning’s 10:30 police briefing in Sioux Falls.