Groups gather to honor shooting victims, share frustrations


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Anger, honor and grief as people plan to gather in Wilmington to hold a vigil for those lives lost and those impacted by recent mass shootings around the country.

Those who attend the vigil also plan to address recent alleged police brutality closer to home.

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Several groups from Black Lives Matter to March For Our Lives are coming together to show solidarity for the victims in the Tennessee Waffle House shooting as well as the Santa Fe High School massacre.

“We have to come together because we don’t know when we may have to come out here again,” said Sonya Patrick with Black Lives Matter of Wilmington. “We hope never again.”

Those who took part in the vigil like fifteen-year-old Emiko Andrews hope that day comes.
She is now apart of the March for our Lives movement at Hoggard High School. It was formed after the Parkland school shooting. She spoke to remember the Santa Fe ten.

“I try to make sure that there is some action taken, that I speak up about it,” Andrews said. “So that the victims can have a voice because they don’t have a voice anymore.”

Acquinetta Beatty was a sorority sister to DeEbony Graves. Graves was one of four gunned down at a Tennessee Waffle House. Beatty thinks it’ll take a change in people before a change in policy to stop mass shootings.

“That’s what the problem is, is that we’re basing it on political parties and race and it’s really not about that,” said Beatty. “It’s about the human, it’s about loving people and being a servant.”

Three groups, all affected by these killings. Andrews hoping for change in safety along school halls, Beatty a wish for more sense inside the home and Black Lives Matter’s Sonya Patrick demanding a stronger stance on gun laws in the halls of government.

“Those kids had to send their kids to school to get an education then they had to go identify their body in a morgue,” Patrick said. “America something is wrong. And we need to hold our legislators accountable and we need safer laws as well as the system to change because this is not acceptable.”