Vigil for Orlando shooting victims held in Murray

A community candlelight vigil for victims from Orlando’s mass shooting was held at First Presbyterian of Murray Monday night. Murray State University’s LGBT Programming along with over university organizations and several churches collaborated to host the event.

MSU LGBT Program Coordinator Jody Cofer Randall said she wanted the community to have an opportunity to cope with this tragedy.

"They need to experience the pain of this. I mean, we can’t pretend it didn’t happen," Cofer-Randall said.

She said this mass shooting shows discrimination against the LGBT community is still happening today. 

During the vigil, she said she was happy to see the amount of diversity in the room.

"Some people don’t have a lot to say right now. Don’t know what to say, but they’re feeling something and just want to be around other people who are grieving too," Cofer-Randall said.

Several members of MSU and area churches spoke during the vigil in between music and people lighting candles in remembrance.

Some people attended Monday night as a way to show their sympathy like Russell Hobbs who is an MSU alum living in Paducah.

"Try to show the love of Christ," Hobbs said. 

He says the amount of vigils happening are good for the country.

"Because it unifies and brings different ones together," Hobbs said.

Other people at the vigil like Robert Courtney hope this tragedy can at least help show the importance of continuing the education of the LGBT community.

"When we diminish the homophobia. When we take down the walls, can enter into a subject with an open mind, maybe a change of heart," Courtney said.

Courtney says it’s hard to grasp the magnitude of this mass shooting. 

"What happened in Orlando was the opposite of evolution. It was the opposite of progress and it’s a travesty," Courtney said.

Courtney said this is an attack on humanity, not just the LGBT community.

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