Negative comments about Damien Little, the Port Lincoln man who police say deliberately drove his car off the town’s wharf with his two young boys inside, will not be tolerated at a gathering today for residents to mourn the tragedy, one of the organisers says.
Police have revealed that Little and his sons, Hunter and Koda, all had gunshot wounds before Little drove a white station wagon off the town’s wharf at speed and into 30 metres of water on Monday morning.
A rifle was found in the vehicle and the coroner is investigating the apparent murder-suicide.
Yesterday, Little’s grieving wife, Melissa Little, said in statement that she wanted her husband to be remembered as a loving family man.
The Lincoln South Football Club, where Little was a player and coach, has organised a community gathering from 2:00pm for residents to support each other through their grief.
Club president Brenton Dennis said there would be prayers for the victims and religious leaders would be on hand.
“If you want to cry, let it out, if you don’t want to cry, you don’t have to,” he said.
“If you’re feeling sad or you’re feeling angry, just to be around other people who are all in the same boat.”
He said the community was struggling to comprehend how the tragedy could have happened.
“[We’re] trying to process some ideas on how we can answer questions that we’re going to be asked by the children within the club,” he said.
“Because I feel if the parents and the adults can’t understand what’s happening then how on earth are we going to try and explain it … to our children.”
Mr Dennis said Little was a role model to junior players.
“He would do anything for the club,” he said.
“He definitely had a way with kids and he definitely was well respected by the older [players] right down to the youngest in our club.”
He said negative comments about Little would not be tolerated at the gathering at the clubrooms.
“If her [Melissa Little] and her family and the Little family do not harbour any ill feeling towards Damo, then why should anybody else, it’s not up to anybody else to judge Damien,” Mr Dennis said.
“We know that wasn’t Damo, to us Damo was the guy with the big smile.
“[He] would always be there cracking a funny … but with some illnesses you don’t know what’s going on behind those eyes.
“None of us were able to pick it.”
Mental health support will be available at the event.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.