Dozens gather in Waco for Uvalde prayer vigil

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 9:03 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Community members in Waco came together for memorialize the 21 victims of Uvalde’s mass shooting.

They gathered for a prayer vigil, with the fear of gun violence high on their minds. In front of children playing, who were just about the same age as the victims, the residents gathered to pray.

“I knew if I turned the TV on and looked at it, I was going to cry,” said Latoya Wells. “Once, I saw the parents faces and how I felt, it’s a reminder, because I know how I felt.”

It hits closer to home for parents like Wells, whose daughter, Sa’Kyra Young, was a victim of gun violence in 2020.

“It’s no secret that the gun violence has gotten way out of hand here. Again, I don’t think it’s just Waco, I think it’s everywhere,” said Wells. “And I think more people need to reach out, more people need to care.”

It was caring the group of a couple dozen were doing. All trying to make sense of the shooting death of the 19 children and two teachers.

“It kind of hit home that this time there was a lot of Hispanics,” said Luis Garcia, chairman of Waco Hispanic Museum.

He said the Uvalde shooting has been high on the minds of a lot of people he knows. Not just Hispanic, but of other backgrounds.

So he and others did what they know how to do best, pray.

“This will never be over for the kids this happened to,” said Garcia. “They’ll always remember it and we need to keep remembering and we need to keep showing support.”

And with the prayers also comes hope for change as community members used one another to grieve and talk out their fears.

“I’m not saying you can’t go anywhere, but do you see what’s happening in normal places?” asked Wells. “It’s sad when you’re scared to send your kids to school, to church, to the mall.”

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