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Services planned for Emma Shafer

Emma Shafer
Emma Shafer

A visitation is scheduled for Friday, July 21, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for a Springfield woman killed last week.

Emma Shafer, 24, was found dead in her home. The Sangamon County Coroner said Shafer sustained multiple sharp force injuries. Her death is being investigated as a homicide.

The Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright issued an arrest warrant for Gabriel P. Calixto, 25, for three counts of first-degree murder and aggravated domestic battery. As of the last update, the Springfield Police Department is actively searching for Calixto with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service and additional agencies.

Springfield Police say they received a call July 11, at approximately 11:30 p.m., from a Bethalto woman saying her brother may have possibly injured his girlfriend. After arriving at the home in the 1000 block of South 8th St., Shafer’s body was found with multiple stab wounds.

The visitation will be held at First Presbyterian Church with a service to follow. The service can be viewed on Emma’s page at StaabObituary.com.

Shafer has been described as a young woman intent on making a difference. She was the membership chair of the Sierra Club Sangamon Valley Group, an incoming board member for the Springfield Immigrant Advocacy Network, a former organizer with Faith Coalition for the Common Good, and an active volunteer with countless other community groups.

“Emma loved to travel, making trips for both pleasure and service to California, New York, Europe, and South Africa. But, she was committed to her hometown of Springfield, and passionate about the concept of Planning to Stay — the idea that every decision made today should be driven by how it will affect future generations,” according to her obituary.

“Emma was a life-long activist. Even as a child, she tended to go sit with the kid eating lunch alone and recruit her friends to join them. She recognized inequities in the way certain classmates were treated and spoke up to ask adults to realize the harm they were causing.”

It adds her long-term plans included hosting of redlining tours to explain the history and impact of racially discriminatory city planning in Springfield. She hosted weekly “soup night” gatherings in her home, bringing together advocates she believed needed to know each other.

A private family burial will take place at a later time.

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