EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – El Paso County hosted a vigil Sunday night to honor the victims of the Buffalo shooting on May 14.

The message of the vigil was all about coming together as a community, even if those hurting are miles away and going through the pain that the El Paso felt once before.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego wanted to host this vigil so that the people of Buffalo know that El Paso stands with them and soon they will be able to heal, which is the purpose of the healing garden in Ascarate Park.

A gunman opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 23 and wounding another 23 on Aug. 3, 2019. On May 14, authorities say a white, 18-year-old gunman in military gear who was livestreaming with a helmet camera opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, killing 10 people and wounding three others. 

“This garden was made not only to memorialize the people that died but it is also in my opinion when I initiated this project was to have a place that you can use also for healing of any kind, people have come here for different reasons, so it really lends this vision that we had that it lends itself for us to reach out to this community,” he said.

Other leaders of local groups, like Wesley Lawrence from El Paso Young Democrats, also attended to spread the message that hate has no place in the world especially as it pertains to racism.

“And any member of the community and any nation that experiences hate we need to stand together as a country and show the world that hate has no place in our country racism has no place in our country,” Lawrence said.

The night was especially meaningful for Pastor Michael Grady, whose daughter was shot in the Walmart shooting. He wants to use this night as a way to spread peace and bring people together to finally understand one another

“I would like to see more conversation between the Hispanic community, the African American community about understanding culture and history about bringing people to the table in transparency so that we can begin to heal we internalize,” he said. “You know, I’m writing a book and the title is, ‘It’s Not What You’re Eating, It’s What’s Eating You,’ and until we deal with what’s eating us were not going to be able to have any real impact in humanity.”

Samaniego’s final message to Buffalo was one of looking to the future and the healing that will come.

He simply said that right now, while it may feel like it’s not getting better, compassion and reaching out to others is the way to heal like El Paso has learned to heal.

Old Glory flies over the vigil for victims of the Buffalo mass shooting – KTSM

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