RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Days after a mass shooting took the lives of five people in Raleigh, some communities gathered for the first time on Sunday, praying for the victims.
Religious leaders in Raleigh say they want everyone to feel hope, especially those directly impacted by the shooting.
“Just like you, I’ve asked the question ‘why?’ one hundred times,” Pastor Tim Rabon, at Beacon Baptist Church, said during Sunday morning’s service.
As congregation members question the motive behind the shooting, why something so tragic had to happen, Pastor Rabon says he hopes people find comfort in the community of church.
“I believe there’s comfort both ways,” he said. “Number one, there’s comfort vertically, from God himself, and then God puts us in community, and that’s really what church is.”
A memorial at the entrance to the Hedingham neighborhood, where the shooting started, was filled with flowers, photos of each victim, and crosses bearing their names.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was on site to lend a listening ear to anyone grieving.
“If we can get it out of their heart, and out of their mouth, then they can get it out of their mind, and then that can help them start healing,” Jennifer Metallo, a Chaplain Coordinator with the group, said.
While law enforcement and community members continue to search for answers, Sunday’s focus was on the five lives lost, and remembering them for who they were.
“I think about the families of Nicole Connors, and Susan Karnatz, and Mary Marshall, Officer Gabriel Torres, and James Thompson, and know that those families, they are hurting,” Pastor Rabon said.