Vigil held at Battle Creek church for victims of mass shooting in Orlando

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BATTLE CREEK, Mich.-- It was an emotional scene inside the St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Sunday night, with candles lit for each of the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.

Those in attendance were trying to cope with the senseless tragedy that happened early Sunday morning. Many of the people in attendance were members of the LGBTQ community, who say now is the time to come together and support one another.

“It makes me sick to my stomach and its devastating" said Father Brian Coleman from the St. Thomas Episcopal Church. "Just to imagine the scale of the grief that’s being experienced right now by the families of the victims it’s pretty overwhelming.”

Everyone prayed together for all of the people affected by what's being called the largest mass shooting in United States' history.

“This could have been any one of us and at the same time this is all of us" said Deana Spencer, the president of Battle Creek Pride.

Spencer says it's hard to fathom what the families of the victims are feeling right now.

“We celebrated Kalamazoo Pride yesterday and I can’t imagine if something like that would have taken place like that over there yesterday" said Spencer. "I just can’t imagine what these people must be going through.”

Lining the walls of the church are photos of the victims of mass shootings from just this year alone. There are around 150 already there, with many more to come in the next few days.

“Who we go home to at the end of the night shouldn’t matter to anybody else" said Spencer. "That’s between us and who we go home to and the fact that somebody is killing people just simply for that reason, now is the time that we need to come together and we need to stand together regardless of what our backgrounds are, regardless of whether we’re an ally, or LGBT identified, It’s just time that we stand together and support one another.”

A GoFundMe page has been created for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, already raising more than $1,000,000 in less than a day.


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