INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Mennonite community in Greene County, Indiana is grieving after a mother of four was killed by robbers on Thursday as her husband was fixing issues with their work trailer.
Jonathan and Wilma Hochstetler ran J&W Commercial Roofing in Bloomfield. While Jonathan was on a job site on Wednesday evening, a tire on the couple’s trailer blew out.
Jonathan had a crew member drive his truck home to his wife, who in turn drove over an hour to Indianapolis to bring him a spare tire. The couple’s six-year-old son rode along.
By the time the tire was changed, it was after midnight, and Hochstetler noticed that the lights on the trailer weren’t working either.
While looking into the apparent wiring issue, two armed men approached the couple and demanded their money. They also took Wilma’s cell phone.
The men seemed to walk away without issue after taking what they wanted, but according to Sam Hochstetler, Jonathan’s father, “[a]ll of a sudden, they just turned and shot.”
According to the Indianapolis Star, Wilma Hochstetler died on the scene. Her husband was shot in the neck. He walked over to the vehicle, where their young son handed off Jonathan Hochstetler’s cell phone to call 911.
Hochstetler was transported to a local hospital where it was found that he suffered broken bones in the jaw and neck. While able to speak, he is currently obtaining nourishment via a feeding tube.
The couple was to have celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary next month. They both grew up Amish and were “childhood sweethearts,” reports state.
The family is also dealing with the difficult task of explaining to the Hochstetler’s six-year-old son, who witnessed the incident, that their mother isn’t coming back home.
The funeral service for Wilma Hochstetler is scheduled for Saturday at Elnora Bible Institute with visitation on Friday.
“Wilma had a tremendous love for the Lord and enjoyed teaching her children the Bible and of His works,” the obituary for the 40-year-old mother of four reads. “She enjoyed music, spending time with her family and helping other people.”
Sam Hochstetler told the Indianapolis Star that his son holds no animosity toward the attackers, finding God’s peace in the middle of the storm.
“We just sense the grace of God and the prayers of friends,” he said. “Jonathan’s testimony this afternoon is, ‘I have peace. I’m calm. I’m not angry. I’m not bitter.’ He said, ‘I may struggle with it later, but currently, I have total peace.’ He’s just trusting the Lord to take him through.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs of Wilma’s funeral and Jonathan’s recovery. As of press time, more than $171K had been raised for the family out of the $250K goal.