Friends of accused shooter say violence was 'so out of character'

Friends of accused shooter say violence was 'so out of character' »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Jeff and Cheri Snyder first heard last week's news on the radio and it broke their hearts.

It was the news of how their friend, Carolyn Piksa was accused of shooting a fellow parks employee in the chest.

"So out of character of the person that we knew," Cheri said.

The couple knew Piksa as their friend from church, but this week they spoke to her for the first time in months during a jail visit.

"She appeared very tired," Cheri said.

What happened a week ago didn't come up because it didn't have to. While the pain was unspoken, faith and love came easy.

"Our goal was to let her know that we cared about her, that God loves her and that we're supporting her," Cheri said.

The Snyders first met Piksa following a revival meetings, and that led them to a Des Moines church. But over time, the friendship frayed.

"Probably in the last year or so her attendance had not been regular," Cheri said.

Their last contact came in November, about five months after Piksa's house was broken into and her family said her dog had been killed.

Police and the family say Piksa had been taunted by hallucinations and mental anguish. She only made thinly veiled references of that to Cheri.

"She had called and asked that we pray for her. She was feeling extremely threatened," Cheri said.

When the criminal charges finally came after that day of fear, the Snyders opened their heart and their faith. They say they'll keep that faith in their friend.

"If anything, this incident has drawn us closer and wanting to have a closer relationship with her," Jeff said.

The victim of the shooting, 65 year old Bill Keller, is still at Harborview, where he is being treated for gunshot wounds to the chest.