Friends and family remember shooting victim
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - Friends and family of the man killed in a deputy-involved shooting last weekend are looking for a little closure as they hold a memorial service for him Friday night.
48-year-old Tommy Kollman was killed last Saturday. The Lee County Sheriff's Office says a deputy pulled him over near Love Boat Ice Cream Shop in Fort Myers when, for some reason, shots were exchanged and Tommy died.
Those close to him are choosing to remember him positively.
"It's a tragic end," said Tommy's brother Jeffrey Kollman.
He honored his brother and fellow musician at Bowditch Park on Fort Myers Beach along with 200 of Tommy's friends.
"His life was so wonderful with music and growing up and we spent everyday together playing music," Jeffrey said.
From the music stand for the guest book, to the drumstick cross made by his fans, you didn't have to look far to find Tommy's passion.
People remembered with applause, laughter and tears the man they knew as "Junebug."
"It fit," friend Bryce Barnes said of the nickname he gave Tommy. "Because it was goofy and Tommy was too; just a funloving guy... We're going to try to get past this in a positive way. You know, honor Tommy for who he was and keep his spirit alive somehow through music."
Tommy's spirit was down at times after his father's death in 2001.
"If someobdy asked how did you brother die? What happened? My brother died of a broken heart," Jeffrey said.
The loss was especially hard for him during this time of year.
"Life gets to a point where you need someone to lean on and he was too proud and though he loved everybody with the biggest heart, he couldn't tell anybody how much severe pain he had," said Jeffrey.
But now, Tommy's pain is shared by all of those who love him. At the request of Tommy's neice Ella, the grouped closed the ceremony befitting for a man who learned long ago, the power of music as they sang 'Silent Night.'
"Life is difficult and music is healing power," said Jeffrey. "And that is why we are all here."
The investgation is continuing on that deputy involved shooting but like the memorial, Tommy's friends want to remain positive. The next step for some is getting a "Junebug" tatoo to remember their special friend.