'Beginning of healing': Vigil held for sisters killed in Nevis shooting

The north-central Minnesota community of Nevis is remembering two sisters who were shot and killed and honoring the officer wounded while chasing down the suspected gunman.

“It’s the beginning of healing. It’s a long, long road,” said Pastor Carleton Smee.

Pastor Smee led the vigil attended by hundreds for 40-year-old Heidi Pierce and 37-year-old Candy Goochey. Their GoFundMe page, which is raising money for their children and funeral expenses, is filled with kind words about the two who were shot and killed Thursday.

A relative of the two women told FOX 9 Goochey leaves behind three children, while Pierce leaves behind four children and three stepchildren.

“Everything I’ve heard of the sisters, they were wonderful, happy, loved their kids, loved their communities,” said Pastor Smee.

Family told FOX 9 the two are sisters and the slain siblings have another sister who was married to Bryce Bellomo, the suspected shooter, who later died by suicide. Court records and neighbors revealed Bellomo was going through a divorce.

“I knew Bryce, I taught here for 25 years - he was one of my students,” said Larry Smith, who attended the service. “It was about healing, coming together in tragic series of events.”

Torn-up snow banks on a Hubbard County road show how investigators say this tragedy unfolded Thursday night. Investigators say a 911 call for a shooting at a Nevis home lead them to finding one of the women dead outside. The suspect took off in a stolen vehicle with the other victim inside, also shot.
Officials say after a 20-minute chase and shootout at a ditch on County Road 119, one deputy was wounded and Bellomo killed himself. The deputy is now healing just like the community.

“Pray for us, we need the prayer for strength and healing as we move ahead,” said Pastor Smee.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now investigating the officer-involved shooting. The deputy who fired their weapon has been placed on standard administrative leave.