COLLIER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – A small community in Collier Township is honoring their mail carrier who was shot and killed while on the job last week.
The community is tying blue ribbons on their mailboxes to remember Louis Vignone.READ MORE: Study: Rural Home Sales In Pennsylvania Have Increased During Pandemic
“We considered him a friend, and his loss was like a punch in the gut,” Sue Kanownik said.
A few days after tragedy struck the tight-knit community of Rennerdale in Collier Township, neighbors are still in shock but committed to making sure the memory of their favorite mail carrier lives on.
Police say Vignone was on his regular morning route in Rennerdale when a former neighbor, Erik Kortz, ambushed him and shot him five times.
“I come home from work that day, it was such a somber, sad feeling in the neighborhood, and it was just this senseless act took a very good person away from us,” Kanownik said.
Neighbors have been honoring Vignone with a makeshift memorial in the neighborhood. But now, they’re going “Blue for Lou.” Blue ribbons are tied around mailboxes on every street and blue hearts are drawn in chalk on the neighborhood streets.READ MORE: How Leaders From Different Congregations Came Together To Participate In Tree Of Life Remembrance Ceremony
This is all being done as a show of remembrance and thanks to Vignone.
“It spoke for itself. Everyone loved him. It’s just a sense of peace to see all those ribbons on mailboxes,” said Kanownik.
Rennerdale United Presbyterian Church has been helping the community honor Vignone. The church held a service over the weekend and helped provide the blue ribbons. The church is also collecting donations for the Vignone family.
Kanownik has lived in this community for a half-century. She said Vignone was her mail carrier for many years, and she’ll always remember how kind he was to her family and even their dog.
“He had time for everybody. That’s how we all got to know him. He shared stories,” she said. “He was talking about retirement a little bit, but we don’t want to hear that because we want him to be our mail carrier forever. But he was the best, there was no one like Lou.”
Neighbors are leaning on one another, and they won’t let the memory of their friend fade away.
“Not only our mail carrier, but he was also our friend and he’s going to be truly missed,” Kanownik said. “The family of Rennerdale, here, we are truly going to miss the man.”MORE NEWS: Allegheny County Leaders Call For Another Extension On Countywide Eviction Moratorium
Friends and relatives will pay their respects to the Vignone family at Allegheny Center Alliance Church. The visitation is Thursday and the funeral is on Friday.