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Buffalo Shooting Victims Memorialized At Crime Scene Vigil | News

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Buffalo Shooting Victims Memorialized At Crime Scene Vigil
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Early Monday evening, citizens began gathering at the site of a shooting spree on Main Street in Buffalo which left four dead and four wounded in the wee hours of Saturday.

They were there expecting to take part in a vigil for the victims.

Family members of some of the victims also showed up.

But not long after 7pm, when they'd heard the vigil was scheduled to begin, it began to dawn on them that there was no one to lead the service.

Enter Pastor Doris Wellington.

Wellington is with the Milwaukee, Wisconsin chapter of Jesus Impact, and was traveling through Buffalo on Monday when she heard about the shootings and plans for the vigil.

She went there to pray and show support, never intending to lead the event. But when it turned out there was no one there to speak she quickly introduced herself to the families of victims who were present and offered her services.

"Join hands with somebody ..let me lead you into prayer," she began. "It doesn't matter if we're related biologically or not... we're all part of one family in this."

As the less than two dozen gathered clasped hands in a circle, Pastor Wellington offered impromptu remarks aimed at both comforting the victim's families, and pricking the consciousness of the community.

"I believe in you, Lord God, that we will be more supporting of one another, ...but also that we will stop harboring and supporting those who commit these senseless violent crimes against one another," she said, in reference to those who may know more about the shooting than they have shared with authorities.

NYS Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes was more direct in the remarks she then offered.

"There were 100 people out here," she said, as she stood near the site of the massacre. "Don't tell me people couldn't see who had that gun."

Gesturing toward the family members, Peoples- Stokes continued.

"They're suffering ...they don't deserve that! They deserve recourse and that recourse is some person willing to have the courage to call out a coward," Peoples-Stokes said.

"Things happen in the community and no one wants to stand up ...it's an image they want to uphold," said a frustrated and devastated Toschan Lane, whose cousin Tiffany Wilhite was among those killed in the shooting spree.

"Sometimes you gotta give up that image and do what's right," Lane told WGRZ-TV.

Erie County Legislator Barbara Milller Williams, also in attendance, focused her remarks directly toward the perpetrator.

"Whoever is responsible for this please come forward. Whoever has done this, you need to do the right thing," Miller- Wiliams said.

"Evil survives and lives when good people refuse to stand up and be counted," said Pastor Wellington, before embracing the victim's family members and telling them, "know that we love you, and that we are concerned about you."

Click on the video icon to watch the story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Norm Fisher.

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