Community members grieve for Orlando shooting victims

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Around the world, and right here at home people are paying tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting through prayer, music and reflection.

Officials said the Orlando nightclub shooter targeted LGBTQ people when he opened fire in a nightclub geared toward that community.

Tuesday we saw community members come together in Wilmington in hopes of spreading a message of togetherness and respect for one another.

Members of St. Jude Metropolitan Community Church and others sat in deep thought and reflection as the names of the victims were called at the church’s prayer vigil.

Justin Callahan, a member of St. Jude, said he is heartbroken over the whole situation.

“Obviously this impacted me and the people who were killed are my brothers and sisters,” said Callahan. “Spiritually they are my brothers and sisters.”

UNCW students, staff and community members came together as well trying to make sense of what happened.

Professional Counselor Jen Johnson said one way for people to deal with feelings of grief is by coming together.

“We may feel sad. We may feel anger, hopelessness, we may feel more fear. For some there’s a sense of feeling more disconnected which is why I think connectedness, and coming together is really called for,” said Johnson.

Zach Lee, a UNCW student, said coming together to talk openly about these types of events is a step toward healing and tolerance.

“Hopefully sometime in my life there will be a point where we can live in equality and it won’t have to be an issue,” said Lee.

And events like these will continue in the Cape Fear. This Friday the Ibiza Nightclub will be hosting a benefit for the victims. Staff will be collecting donations at the door.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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