Stamford, CT – Orthodox Community Plans Funeral for Killing Spree Victim


      Chesed Shel Emes from NY Rabbi Mayer Berger, left, walks with a man carrying bags of blood-covered fabric outside the Hartford Distributors building, where a gunman killed eight and himself, in Manchester. According to Rabbi Berger, he was there to retrieve all the body remains of Louis Felder Jr., who was expected to be buried later in the day. Credit: AP Stamford, CT – The funeral for a Stamford man among the nine killed during a shooting spree at a Manchester warehouse Tuesday will be at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Agudath Shalom synagogue on Strawberry Hill Avenue.

    Louis Felder, 50, a Pepper Ridge Road resident originally from Long Island, N.Y., worked as a supervisor at Hartford Distributors and was killed Tuesday morning by a truck driver who went on a rampage after resigning, killing eight co-workers and wounding two others before turning the gun on himself.

    The trucker driver, Omar Thornton, was accused of stealing beer from the warehouse and asked to resign or face being fired. Relatives told the Associated Press that Thornton, who is black, complained of racial harassment at the disruption warehouse and snapped after resigning.

    Agudath Shalom Rabbi David Walk said the synagogue expects 400 to 500 people for the funeral, describing Felder as a popular and respected member of the Orthodox community in Stamford.

    “This is a tough one,” Walk said Wednesday morning.

    A local chevra kadisha spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday morning in Hartford negotiating with the state medical examiner so they could begin preparing Felder’s body for burial, Walk said. The chevra kadisha also went to the crime scene to collect remains to include for burial.

    Walk, the educational director at the synagogue, said at his synagogue he taught Felder’s three children, a son and two teenage daughters. The children attended Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford for elementary school. Felder and his family belongs to another Stamford synagogue, but Walk said he would see him at bar mitzvahs, weddings and other celebrations.

    “He was always smiling and quick to make a joke,” Walk said. “He was very upbeat and the kids followed that.”

    Walk said Felder has family attending the funeral from Long island and a sister is flying in from Israel.

    “They’re a really popular and well-liked family,” Walk said of the Felders.

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