‘This is our time to mourn’: Community hosts 2 vigils to honor shooting victims

‘This is our time to mourn’: Community hosts 2 vigils to honor shooting victims

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After an unforgettably dark day, a heartbroken community came together Wednesday evening for two separate vigils to remember the victims of Tuesday’s deadly shooting at the Belt Atlantic Apartment, which took the lives of 30-year-old Sharnez Hill and her 3-month-old baby, Neziah. The shooting also injured three others.

The first vigil took place in front of the building where the violence broke out.

“This is our time to mourn, this is our time to lament, this is our time to remember,” Community pastor and relative Donte McCutchen said.

For the city leaders, educators and apartment residents, this wasn’t just a time for lamenting, but also for speaking truth to the violence that has occurred all month long.

“Someone took that from us, that feeling of safety, that feeling of community, and we are angry,” 5th District Council Member Stephanie Lynch said.

“Since I’ve become superintendent in Richmond, dozens of our students have died because of gun violence,” said RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras said.

At the same time, a second vigil was held at Broad Rock Park. Those who gathered there vowed to do their part to make Richmond’s southside safer in honor of the other victims in the Tuesday shooting.

“I’m going to do whatever I have to do to start this movement - to get our kids off the street,” life coach Alecia Jones said.

After a month filled with so much violence, this community hopes this time will finally be different, and that people will take action against the violence rather than just praying for change.

“What these children live with they learn, what they learn they practice, what they practice they become, and what they become has consequences,” said a community resident. “And this is the result of the consequences behind our actions.”

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