DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Days after a mass shooting took the lives of five people in Raleigh, religious leaders in Durham took a stand on Saturday against gun violence.
The vigil was planned before the Raleigh shooting, but leaders say they want to help the Raleigh community through the tragedy.
While the event marked the 30th annual vigil, organizers say that’s not a good thing.
“We wouldn’t be here if all this gun violence would stop, we’ve got to find a way to get this in control,” said Annette Love, with the Religious Coalition for Nonviolent Durham.
The group read aloud 49 names of victims lost to gun violence in Durham in 2021, while also remembering those recently killed in Raleigh.
“What happened in Raleigh is just unnecessary, it’s heart-wrenching, so I’m hoping that we here in Durham can help those in Raleigh to get through this,” Love said.
With the names of victims woven together on a quilt at the event, organizers say remembering the victims is the first step to making change.
“The whole community can do that, an encouraging word, say something, do something, just don’t do nothing,” Love said.
But beyond that, they say it’s on legislators to make communities safer.
“Pass those bills that they’ve got in the legislature if we have to get out there, go over there, stand in front of the legislature building, make them pass those bills for safer laws, whatever needs to be done, do it!” Love said.