Brother of local shooting victim Bill Wolfe shares insight into tragedy, thanks community
(Shippensburg) — Standing near the festival stage, Bill Wolfe Jr. was with his wife, enjoying a Jason Aldean concert with thousands of people when the shooting began.
Robyn Finkey Wolfe held her husband until she was certain he had passed. With shots ringing down around her, she had to make “the hardest decision of her life,” and leave him behind.
This is the story Wolfe’s brother, Scott Wolfe, shared with media during the family’s first public statements Monday morning, at Shippensburg University. Robyn’s sister, Stephanie Parson, brother, Joseph Finkey, and Wolfe’s pastor Steve DiBiase were there supporting Scott.
Wolfe heard the story from his sister-in-law Robyn, when she called him around 2 a.m. Oct. 2, a few hours after the shooting, with the news.
He said it wasn’t until 10:30 that night, about 24 hours after the attack, that the family had confirmation Bill Wolfe had died in the shooting.
“All indication leads us to believe he died within minutes after being shot and that he did not suffer,” Scott Wolfe said.
Wolfe, a Shippensburg Police officer, called his brother a devoted, loving husband who loved outdoor activities and was deeply involved in his sons’ lives.
The concert, part of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, was a trip specially for Bill and Robyn’s 20th anniversary, Wolfe said. Earlier in the festival, during the Eric Church concert, Bill was the first fan to shake Church’s hand as he walked through the crowd.
“Bill was elated,” Wolfe said.
Wolf acknowledged the eight-year age difference between him and his little brother, which led them to lead different lives, and Wolfe said he wished he had spent more time with his brother in recent years. But he does have cherished memories of their times together.
When asked what questions the family still wants answered about the shooting at the concert, Wolfe said any questions still unanswered may stay that way. He and the family are working on accepting that.
“He shot my brother,” Wolfe said, of the shooter. “Why, we’ll never know.”
Wolfe said the the family have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community since the tragedy.
“When you grow up in a small town, you’re gonna say ‘well everybody knows everybody’s business,” Wolfe said. “When something like this happens, people in small town are really good people, and they’ll be there for us.”
Wolfe said he wished he could name all of the people, businesses and organizations who provided support, whether it be emotional or monetary, but the list was too long.
“There is no way we will every be able to repay this debt,” Wolfe said. “I can only hope that everyone who provided assistance will be blessed in some way in the future.”
Wolfe said his sister-in-law Robyn is “one of the strongest people I have very met,” caring mostly about her boys and their futures.
Robyn Wolfe has not personally made a statement, and Wolfe said she has no plans of speaking with media.
“There is no doubt in my mind she will pick up the pieces and continue with her life a stronger person, raising her two boys to become fine young men like their father.”
This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the Chambersburg Public Opinion.