‘It’s unfathomable:’ Community grieves together at service held for beloved Richmond couple

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:23 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - The Richmond community is grieving two lives tragically lost Tuesday.

Chris and Gracie Hager were staples in the community. They were killed in a shooting outside an apartment complex they owned on Keystone Drive.

The Hagers were as important to Eastside Community Church as they were to the community.

“When we first moved to Richmond, that was two of our first friends,” Mendi Goble said.

Their congregation is hurting as they process the senseless loss. Wednesday night they leaned on each other and their faith to grieve.

“A shock… A lot of misplaced emotions. People don’t know what to do. People are angry, upset, searching for answers,” Pastor Virgil Grant said.

Pastor Grant says the Hagers were very active at the church, taking countless mission trips to Guatemala, and always working to give back.

“They were always all-in, in everything they did. That was their lifestyle. You couldn’t really mention Chris without mentioning Gracie. They did life together,” Pastor Grant said.

Longtime friends Jerry and Mendi Goble spoke during a service remembering the Hagers and other tragedies the community has faced recently. They say their faith is what is guiding them through this dark time.

“It’s unfathomable. You really just have two words, and this is what God has given me through this. ‘Only God.’ You can’t get through things like this without God,” Mendi said.

It’s a friendship and a bond that Mendi and Jerry say they will hold tight in their hearts, as they, along with Chris and Gracie’s family, mourn lives taken far too soon.

“They were amazing, amazing people. They loved hard and they loved big. And I’m just so glad that I got to be part of their life,” Mendi said.

At last check, Thomas Birl, the man charged in their shooting death, has not yet been booked into jail.

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