BEECH GROVE, Ind. — The City of Beech Grove and the Mayor’s Faith-Based Roundtable hosted a prayer vigil Sunday night for the eight victims killed in Thursday night’s FedEx mass shooting.
Eight hearts were placed outside City Hall to represent the eight victims. Many in the community wrote messages for the families or simply signed their names.
“It’s very healing for me to be here and to see all the people that showed up for this," Diana Hendricks said. "It shows you that, at least in our community, people are wanting to reach out. They are wanting to reestablish the unity in our community, and I love seeing that."
One of the hearts is for Beech Grove native Samaria Blackwell, who was 19.
Mayor Dennis Buckley said he spoke with her mother Sunday, saying it was “tough.”
“She played soccer. She played basketball and she was a kid who loved everybody,” Buckley said. “It didn’t matter what you looked like, or what you thought. She wanted to help people, especially elderly people, and she wanted to be a police officer when she grew up.”
Many in the community said they are still trying to process the heartbreaking loss.
“We can only imagine what they’re going through, right? I have three children. I can’t imagine what it’s like if I lost any of my children. But that’s what they’re going through right now. So, let’s just keep them in our prayers,” said a family friend of the Blackwells.
Members of the Sikh community also came to the prayer vigil to heal and create unity.
“Just like America, the Sikh community is the face of America. Just like how we come back up stronger, the community is going to come back up stronger and is going to stand shoulder to you,” Gaganpal Singh said. “Hug your neighbors. Love thy neighbors. That’s what’s going to make us great.”
At the end, the eight hearts were passed out to later be given to the families of the victims so they could also feel the love and support of the community.
13News streamed the vigil live Sunday night.