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City of Chesapeake organizes candlelight vigil for Walmart mass shooting victims

Organizers set up flowers and chairs outside the Chesapeake City Park near Greenbrier Parkway.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The Hampton Roads community came together Monday night for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the Walmart mass shooting in Chesapeake.

Organizers set up flowers and chairs outside the Chesapeake City Park near Greenbrier Parkway.

The shooting from last Tuesday took the lives of Tyneka Johnson, Brian Pendleton, Randy Blevins, Kellie Pyle, Lorenzo Gamble and Fernando Chavez-Barron.

Police say the gunman was a Walmart team lead. Andre Bing, 31, is suspected to have taken his own life after killing six people.

Nearly a week later, city leaders are still searching for ways to help Chesapeake heal and recover.

There have been other ceremonies to honor the victims - but Monday night's service was organized by the city government itself.

Early in the day,  Jessica Porter, a local, was one of the people who showed up to pay respect.

"It’s such a terrible tragedy, and you never expect it to hit close to where you live," she said. "But I feel like it’s a small thing that we can do to show our support, come together and help these victims' families feel supported."

Buses full of people walked onto a field lit with candles to honor and remember the lives lost in the Walmart mass shooting - each with their own story. 

City of Chesapeake Mayor Rick West and City council member Don J. Carey III cane to speak at the ceremony. Carey gave descriptions of each of the six victims who died in the shooting. Pastor Jose Morales from Point Harbor Church also said a prayer in Spanish. 

Sisters Kiara and Kayla Doby came to the vigil to support the family of 16-year-old Fernando Chavez-Barron who died in the shooting.

“It’s still hard to take in the fact of what has happened," said Kiara Doby. 

The sisters say the vigil helped them understand they are not hurting alone.

“It was very heartwarming to see everybody come out and support and come together and grieve and mourn the loss of everybody," said Doby. 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin also attended the service too. 

“Another act of senseless violence fills our hearts with unspeakable sadness shock and anger to move forward without fear without trouble has become for many an arduous task," said Youngkin. 

Many people at the vigil, like the Doby sisters, said they are praying for the families and showing support through unity.

“You’re so strong, and I know together we can make it through this for sure," said Doby. 

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