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MONTFORT, Wis. - Days after 6-year-old Jaxon Slat died in a shooting at a Montfort home, communities are coming together in a show of support for the family and the town.

Within hours of officers taking down the tape at the house on East Main Street, a small shrine has popped up with flowers, stuffed animals and handwritten notes. Some are from Montfort residents; others are from neighboring communities who feel like family to the people in this town.

"I can't hardly imagine what they're going through," says Dan Hauk, a Livingston resident. Dan and his wife, Julie, dropped off flowers and a card at the doorstep of the house Sunday morning.

 "We don't understand what all happened, but it's just a hard situation."

Others visiting the house understand Montfort's loss all too well.

Scott Brown and his two kids came all the way from Boscobel to share their respects here. Their family has dealt with death themselves - the loss of their 12-year-old son, and brother, Briar, from a gunshot wound.

"It's a subject very close to home for us, and it's the least we could do is come out and support," Scott said. "We aren't able to do much but help out in any way we can."

"The people down here in southwest Wisconsin, especially these counties, tend to pull together - not only in bad times, but during good times too," says Peter Berg, pastor at Montfort United Methodist Church, across the street from Jaxon's home.

And pull together they have - the shrine has steadily grown in size since Saturday evening.

"Just our little tribute here, it's just a simple thing of what we can and should do as a community," says Julie Hauk.

A message of love and support is evident in what's been left behind for a boy most didn't know - but for the people in southwest Wisconsin, that doesn't matter.

"There's an old saying that there are no strangers in this world, just friends I haven't met yet," says Pastor Berg. "I really think that's kind of the mindset and the heartset of the people in this area."

"It's born and bred in small communities," says Scott. "Regardless of what it is, they'll pull together and help one another, whether you know them or not."

Support for the community is still going strong. United Methodist Church will hold a candlelight vigil for Jaxon and his family Sunday at 1 p.m.



Montfort community comes together after 6-year-old's death

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