Huntington Beach candlelight vigil to honor victims of Las Vegas massacre
In an effort to find healing in the wake of last weekend’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, people will gather Sunday night in Huntington Beach to pay their respects to the victims.
The candlelight vigil will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Pier Plaza at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway.
The massacre at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival claimed the lives of 59 people — including the shooter, Stephen Paddock, who killed himself — and left hundreds more injured. It has been deemed the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Andrea Castilla, a Huntington Beach resident, was killed while celebrating her 28th birthday at the festival.
Huntington residents Stacy Massey and Lorena Ortega organized the vigil to provide a place for people to come together to heal.
“My goal for this event is to open up space to provide support for survivors and to illuminate the lives of those taken,” Ortega said.
The ceremony will open with a prayer from pastor Bob Owens of First Christian Church of Huntington Beach, followed by a community sing-along. Fifty-eight people will read the names of Paddock’s victims who were killed, and the event will end with an “in memory” walk down the pier.
“We come together to pray for Vegas and for the individuals and families impacted by this tragedy,” Massey said. “We come together to wrap ourselves around our neighbors, since we can’t seem to wrap our heads around the violence.”
Massey said about 200 people are expected for the vigil, including several who were present at the shooting.
Ortega, a member of the group, arranged a vigil at Pier Plaza after the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
For more information about Sunday’s vigil, visit the event’s Facebook page.
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