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Community grieves together a day after 4 die in Colorado Springs rampage

November 1, 2015 Updated: November 2, 2015 at 8:36 am
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photo - The vigil being held Sunday night for victims of a shooting spree Saturday in Colorado Springs. (Jakob Rodgers, The Gazette)
The vigil being held Sunday night for victims of a shooting spree Saturday in Colorado Springs. (Jakob Rodgers, The Gazette) 

Scores of people huddled together Sunday evening near downtown Colorado Springs, clutching candles and standing silent in vigil.

For some, the next steps were unclear.

"None of us know what to do with something like this," said Russ Ware, a local businessman.

A day after a gunman killed three people in a rampage before dying in a shootout with Colorado Springs police, people from across the neighborhood gathered on the Shooks Run Trail to mourn the lives lost, and to share a common grief.

The families of two victims, Christy Galella and Jennifer Vasquez, wept quietly just a few houses from where the women were shot dead. Having known people who died Saturday morning, they were in the minority.

Most everyone else at the vigil had simply heard news of the rampage and wept at the shock of it.

Walking a few blocks from her house to the bridge over Platte Avenue, Juliet Rizzo ticked off the emotions in her head - sadness, anger, fear.

"You feel the energy of sadness, and you just want to support people," Rizzo said.

With candles lit, Ware spoke up first. He smiled, eyeing the bridge packed with men, women, children and their dogs. Then a minister talking, calling for compassion - not only for the families of the people killed by the gunman, but for the gunman's family as well.

"We're all hurting tonight - raise your candle if you're hurting," said Benjamin Broadbent, lead minister of First Congregational Church.

They did. And after hearing the words of one more pastor, Ware broke into song.

Everyone followed along - the words of "This Little Light of Mine" starting like a dirge, but growing more upbeat with each added voice.

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