“I had left and I was on the way to El Paso,” Zanis said.
Zanis said he tries to spend only a brief amount of time at the scenes of the tragedies, but takes the time to meet with the victims’ families. “I try to get in and out without crying.”
Of Dayton’s Oregon District, Zanis said: “This is the most beautiful area. It just reminds me of Bourbon Street.”
>> Family of Oregon District shooting victims among mourners at homicide victim memorial service
There were nine people killed in 32 seconds before Dayton police gunned down the shooter. The victims were: Megan Betts, Monica Brickhouse, Nicholas Cumer, Derrick Fudge, Thomas McNicholas, Lois Oglesby, Saeed Salah, Logan Turner and Beatrice Nicole Warren-Curtis.
Zanis began making the crosses following his father-in-law’s homicide in the 1990s, and has personally delivered more than 20,000 of his handmade crosses.
“Greg Zanis was a giant among men. He was a man of action who simply wanted to honor the lives of others,” Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin said in a post on the city’s Facebook page. “His legacy shall forever be remembered in Aurora and around the globe.”