SANTA FE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Santa Fe High School remains blocked off following a deadly school shooting last Friday that left ten people dead and 13 injured.
However, that didn’t stop people from visiting the school Monday. Hundreds came out to pay their respects to the victims at a growing memorial that sits outside the high school.
Ten crosses have been placed outside the school, one for each of the victims who lost their lives.
Greg Zanis from “Crosses for Losses” created them.
“I always put a picture on,” he said. “I always put a heart on. I always put the name on.”
The master carpenter has created more than 22,500 wooden crosses for victims of homicide. He’s been doing this work for more than 20 years.
“January 15, 1996,” Zanis said. “It changed my life. My wife’s dad was murdered and I found him in a pool of blood shot in the head.”
He said after that tragedy he created “Crosses for Losses.”
“I just think the country needs somebody like me,” Zanis said.
Following Friday’s deadly shooting, the mother of one of the children killed in the Santa Fe attack gave him a call.
“She calls me immediately,” Zanis said. “Just four hours after she lost her daughter, so of course I have to come. I dropped everything I was doing and started making these.”
Zanis said he drove down from Aurora, Illinois as quick as he could.
“Took me 24 hours,” he said. “A straight run.”
When he got to Santa Fe he spent time personalizing each cross. Zanis said the victim’s mother was overcome with emotion when she saw it.
“To me that’s my paycheck,” he said. “That big hug and her crying in my arms.”
It’s a job he believes he was meant to do it.
“I’m the perfect person to help victims out because I not just lost somebody, I saw the carnage,” Zanis said. “I saw how bad it is.”
Zanis plans to leave the crosses at the school for 40 days if he can.
After that, he plans to give them to victims families. Zanis’ full-time job is creating crosses. He funds his work solely through donations.