BURLINGTON — The heartache crosses well over the Skagit County line.
Four of the five victims from Friday night’s Cascade Mall shootings in Burlington had ties to Snohomish County, either through homes or families.
The dead are a court probation officer from Arlington who was taking her 95-year-old mother for an outing, a Boeing employee from Lake Stevens, a longtime Macy’s cosmetics counter worker with a sister in Everett, and a sophomore who was attending Mount Vernon High School.
Around Cascade District Court in Arlington, Belinda Galde was known as a fair and compassionate probation officer.
Retired Cascade District Court Judge Jay Wisman worked for more than 20 years with Galde, who began as a secretary before becoming an officer. District courts handle everything from traffic tickets to gross misdemeanors. Much of her caseload involved DUIs.
“Belinda was just very calm,” Wisman said. “She didn’t get ruffled. She was very sweet and gentle and always very conscious about the people on probation.”
“Our hearts are broken,” Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard said in a Facebook post. Prior to becoming a judge, Howard worked for years as a commissioner in Cascade District Court.
She was “a truly compassionate and dedicated public servant. We are devastated beyond words that she and her mother were senselessly taken from us and her loving family,” he wrote.
Snohomish County lawyer Rick Leo, who has spent the past two years also working as a district court commissioner, said he relied on Galde for guidance in how best to help people navigating the criminal justice system.
“She had such compassion for people and will be truly missed by every life she touched,” he wrote on Facebook.
Lynn McCormick, a retired probation officer, worked closely with Galde from 1994 to 2009.
“She was caring, but she could also be very tough, and she had to be,” McCormick said. “But people know that she cared about them. She was fair, absolutely fair, and ethical. I could not have asked for a better co-worker.”
McCormick said she also could not have asked for a better friend.
Before she was a probation officer, Galde ran a hairdressing business out of the family home. She never lost those skills.
A year after retirement, McCormick needed major heart surgery. She was tired and weak. Galde came to visit her before and after her operation and fixed her hair during those difficult times. “It never looked so good,” McCormick said.
Galde, 64, beamed when she talked about her family — her husband, her two daughters and her grandchildren , McCormick said.
“They just lit up her life,” she said.
So did her mother, Beatrice Dotson, who moved into the family home in recent years. Dotson had lived in Darrington and Tennessee before joining her daughter in Arlington.
On Friday evenings, the mother and daughter often would go to Macy’s at the Cascade Mall. Belinda’s husband, Mike, frequently would drive and wait for them. That’s what they were doing on the Friday night of the shootings, friends said.
Galde adored her mother, McCormick said.
“She was a class act, a southern belle, a true southern belle,” McCormick said. “Elegant. You could just picture her in some big southern mansion.”
Wilton Charles “Chuck” Eagan
Wilton Charles “Chuck” Eagan, 61, died after being taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He worked at Boeing, which issued a statement Sunday.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague,” company officials said. “Chuck Eagan was a valued team member who worked in Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Everett. Our heartfelt condolences go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. Boeing is ready to provide counselors to help co-workers cope with this tragic news. We also will reach out to family members express our sympathy.”
Eagan and his wife were out on Friday night for a dinner date when the bullets began flying, KIRO TV reported. They ran, but his wife fell down. He turned to help her and was fatally shot.
Karen Van Horn on Sunday said her family received official word that her younger sister was among the dead.
Shayla Martin, 52, was at her job in the cosmetics department in Macy’s at Cascade Mall when the gunman opened fire. She didn’t come home from work. Officials said a body with Martin’s name tag from work was found at the scene, Van Horn said.
She earlier described the Mount Vernon woman as classy and sweet, with a taste for the finer things. Her sister also had a practical streak that took her into thrift stores looking for bargains.
Van Horn, a longtime employee of The Daily Herald, said her family was told the identities of the victims were not likely to officially be made public before all the autopsies are completed Monday.
The youngest victim once attended the Conway School District in Skagit County north of Stanwood before moving to Mount Vernon High School.
In a post over the weekend, Conway district officials said the community is “incredibly saddened” by the news that Sarai Lara, 16, died in the Cascade Mall shootings.
“Sarai was a beautiful, brave and exceptional student who inspired us with her courage and her positivity,” school leaders said in a post on the district’s website. “There are no words that can describe how we are feeling in the aftermath of this terrible and senseless tragedy.”
Conway School District and Mount Vernon School District on Sunday were working together to prepare Crisis Response Teams to support staff, students and families on Monday morning.
“We will also work diligently to ensure that our students feel safe and protected when they return to school,” Conway officials wrote.
Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers issued a statement Sunday about the Burlington shootings.
“We have a heavy heart as once again our beautiful region has been struck by terrible violence,” Somers said. “Losing one of our fellow employees and multiple members of our community hits us particularly hard.”
Herald reporter Chris Winters contributed to this story. Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; email@example.com.