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Hoosiers feel impact of deadly Buffalo shooting

Pastor Corey Duncan said there needs to be more open and honest conversations on racism, not just in African American pulpits, but all pulpits.

INDIANAPOLIS — People across the country are grieving after a gunman shot and killed 10 people inside of a Buffalo grocery store.

It's putting a spotlight on the growing threat of racial hate.

Verna Moore said when she watched the aftermath of the shooting, her heart dropped.

"I was so sad, and it was like it was happening to me, because it happened to people of color. I said, 'Lord help them,'" said Moore.  

Then, she asked why.

"What's going through that person's head? What's going through that person's heart," Moore said.

Answers we may or may never find out.

Moore joined Pastor Corey Duncan from City of Hope Community Church in Lawrence Wednesday to discuss the Buffalo shooting.  

"When you stake the store out the day before and you go in with the purpose and the intent to kill and hurt African Americans, it's racism," said Duncan. "People don't want to be real as to what the nature of the situation is, even what happened in Buffalo. People will say mental illness. They'll say, 'Oh, he was young. His brain was not developed,' or they'll come up with a thousand different excuses when the reality is, it's blatant racism."

RELATED: In Buffalo, Biden condemns racism, mourns new victims

It's a topic Duncan and Moore didn't think they'd have to talk about in 2022.

"Racism is not an isolated situation and you don't grow up thinking that. Children grow up innocent. They don't know that black, white, hate each other and all this. This is something that is taught, but no one wants to talk about that. No one wants to talk about race. No one wants to talk about racism," said Moore.  

It's leaving her and others will a feeling of uncertainty.

"If they're shooting in grocery stores and in churches, where can you be safe?" asked Moore.

Duncan said racially motivated crimes shouldn't be happening.

"It has definitely impacted me, affected me, and just made me not only more aware, but more sensitive to how we go about, even our worship services," said Duncan.

RELATED: Who are the victims of the mass shooting in Buffalo?

He said there needs to be more open and honest conversations on racism, not just in Black pulpits, but all pulpits.  

"We have to have courageous conversations. We have to deal with it, we can't cover it up," said Duncan.

The goal is to end racism in America and prevent another racially motivated attack.

"That's one of the reasons the name of the church is the City of Hope Community Church, because there's always hope in the midst of hopelessness. Hope in the midst of situations and circumstances to where you feel like there is no hope and that's one thing we always push. We give them hope," said Duncan.

"We have to pray for our enemies," said Moore.

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