While honoring a woman who was fatally shot Tuesday at an elementary school in Hazel Dell, supporters spoke of the impact she had on the school community well before her death.
A vigil Sunday night at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver honored the life of the woman who was shot in a domestic violence homicide in the parking lot of Sarah J. Anderson Elementary School. Organizers of the vigil identified her as Tiffany Hill. An investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.
“I never knew she was going through so much because she gave so much. She was a wonderful friend,” said Heather Vian, who knew Hill through their children.
The crowd of people gathered in front of the park’s gazebo and a small table that had a photo of Hill surrounded by candles. They prayed and held a moment of silence before sharing stories and thoughts about Hill and her life.
Hill was a Marine Corps Sergeant and had three children. She was described as caring, affectionate and gritty.
“She was a fierce force to be reckoned with, a strong woman who was fiercely protective and private,” said Rene Sundby, president of the Sarah J. Anderson Parent Teacher Association. “We often joked that you did not stand in her way when there was something she wanted.”
Hill was also a member of the parent teacher association. Sundby said that Hill would wake up at 3 a.m. to cook meals and stay up past her children’s bedtimes to make decorations for school events.
“She loved all of our children unconditionally. She was constantly ready for a hug for any child wanting to give one,” Sundby said. “She supported us, she loved us and she spoiled us. She gave selflessly without thought.”
Several of Hill’s family members, who declined to provide their names, offered emotional statements at the vigil.
“No one might understand how we feel, but we are grateful for those who have been there for her,” Hill’s sister said. “She has touched so many lives in so many places. All she did was live for her children — all three of them.”
On Tuesday around 3:20 p.m., deputies responded to the school parking lot, 2215 N.E. 104th St. They found two gunshot victims in the front seats of a minivan, four bullet holes in the windshield and a smashed driver’s side window.
Three children inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting were physically unhurt.
The sheriff’s office identified the suspect in the case as Keland Hill, 38, of Vancouver, who was out of jail on bail pending a court hearing in an ongoing domestic violence case and was the subject of an active restraining order. Following a brief police pursuit Tuesday, he shot himself in the head at Padden Parkway and Andresen Road and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
A GoFundMe page set up by Tiffany Hill’s family has raised more than $78,000 to support her three children.
The support was also visible Sunday night as one of Tiffany Hill’s sisters observed the scores of people in front of her.
“It’s a testament,” she said. “It’s a testament of who Tiffany was.”