Vigil for El Paso, Dayton mass shooting victims held in Pilsen

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An El Paso native living in Chicago organized a vigil in Pilsen Wednesday night honoring the victims of both of last weekend's deadly mass shootings.

The candlelight vigil was meant to give people the space to grieve and come together as they honor the people killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The project was a work of love from a woman born and raised in El Paso who is now a teacher living in Chicago. She said she sat at home Saturday and couldn't stop watching the horror in her hometown.

After days of mourning she couldn't stay home anymore, so she organized this vigil.

"Unprovoked, without remorse, a terrorist drove out of his way and came to kill Latinos and Hispanics, immigrants in a community he knew was proud to be what they were," said Chantal Diaz, vigil organizer. "Saturday was one of the worst days of my life. Not know if my family and friends were alive, being in Chicago and stuck here."

Wednesday night, in the heart of Chicago's Mexican-American community, they cried, they prayed and as a community of Latinos lamented what they feel is their reality.

"There's a lot of fear. There's a lot of fear," one speaker said. "There is no guarantee this is the last targeted attack."

They paused for each life cut short in Saturday's shooting, and vowed to join together in looking out for their common protection.

Another vigil, this one organized by gun law reform advocates March for Our Lives, was also scheduled for Wednesday night in Douglas Park, but the organizers decided to combine the two events.

"This is a matter of lives not lived," said Alissa Vance, with March for Our Lives Illinois. "About the unborn, about people that don't get to live their full lives. This isn't just about funerals and headstones, this is about real people we're losing to this crisis. It's wrong, it's fundamentally wrong, and we have to do something about it."
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