Church's Window Honors Sara Hougom's Memory - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Church's Window Honors Sara Hougom's Memory


ST. JOSEPH'S RIDGE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- One year ago Tuesday, 20-year old Sara Hougom was shot and killed in her apartment on La Crosse's south side. 

Hougom attended West Salem High School and, at the time of her death, was taking classes at Western Technical College. 

The two men responsible both plead guilty to first degree reckless homicide and are serving 35-year sentences in prison. 

They said at the sentencing hearing that Hougom's death was random. 

One of the two men admitted to entering her residence with a gun hoping to steal money. He said he panicked when he saw Hougom lying on the couch and shot her, before fleeing the scene. 

Hougom's friends and family gathered at St. Joseph's Church Tuesday in her memory. 

After visiting her headstone at the cemetery across the street they entered the church to take in the new, stained glass window installed in Hougom's memory. 

"I would hope that as people see the window, they would choose to celebrate life," said Rev. Ellen Rasmussen, a pastor at La Crosse's Wesley United Methodist Church and friend of the Hougom family, "to live with joy." 

"We're all still healing," Rasmussen said. "It's so difficult to recover from the loss." 

"I think the vigil can be a marker of solidarity and healing," she said. "To show that we're a community who wants to care for each other, to cherish each other and we don't promote violence." 


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