By Staff Writer, PHCC-National Association
PHCC—National Association is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of GSM Services employees James Lewis and Robert Shook, two HVAC service technicians who were killed during a mass shooting that took place April 7 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Lewis and Shook were working on a couple’s home when a gunman entered the residence and killed the couple, their grandchildren and the two GSM Services employees. The family included Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife Barbara, and two grandchildren. Lewis died on the scene and Shook was in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds until he passed away April 10.
PHCC—National Association President-elect Joel Long is a co-owner with his brother Steven Long of GSM Services, a PHCC Contractor-member located in Gastonia, North Carolina, who in an April 8 statement issued by the PHCC of North Carolina, stated that “These were two of our best!” Joel Long later told the Gaston Gazette that a GoFundMe account had been established to benefit the Lewis and Shook families. On April 20, he issued this heartfelt thank you message to PHCC members.
CNN affiliate WSOC-TV reported that Lewis, 38, was a single father of three children who “was killed doing the job he loved, making a living for the family he adored.” His mother Linda Tucker told WSOC-TV: “He helped anybody, he was a kind guy, a great dad…” Shook was a husband and father of three. His cousin Heather Thompson told USA Today that “He walks this earth and puts those work boots on every day for those three kids and his wife.”
The message from PHCC of North Carolina Board President Rob McClintock shared that “Joel [Long] and the entire GSM Community also wanted to express [their] gratitude for the outpouring of love and support they have received in this difficult time.”
“This is a heartbreaking incident,” said PHCC—National Association President Hunter Botto. “Our hearts go out to the families of Mr. Lewis, Mr. Shook, the entire GSM Services organization, as well as the Lesslie’s. We are grateful for these GSM technicians: honorable people who, while providing essential services to protect public health and safety, became innocent victims of such a horrific tragedy. The entire PHCC family extends our deepest sympathies for the loss of Mr. Lewis and Mr. Shook.” PHCC—National Association Executive Vice President Michael Copp remarked, “Though we look down in deference with bowed heads, our eyes will slowly rise to see a way forward through the thick haze of hurt to honor these professionals who we will never forget.” Copp shared additional comments in a mechanical-hub.com podcast here: https://bit.ly/3wRwscu.