RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The people of Richmond gathered together in two different vigils in Monroe Park on Thursday night, hoping to heal and find peace following Tuesday’s tragic mass shooting.

Through the power of song and prayer, members of the Youth With A Mission Richmond church worked to bring light into the city they say is filled with so much darkness right now.

“It’s hard to put it into words, you know what I mean?” Morgan Bogert, a vigil organizer, said. “It’s just like, that feeling of your heart sinking. Like, it should not be this way.” 

At the vigil, organizers like Bogert encouraged people to walk through Monroe Park in groups and pray for the victims of Tuesday’s shooting at a Huguenot High School graduation ceremony.

“This is not how this person’s life was supposed to…you know, this wasn’t God’s plan for their life,” Bogert said.

Members of Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church also crossed the street to Monroe Park holding lit candles and singing “This Little Light of Mine,” hoping to promote healing within the community during a separate vigil.

“We can fix this,” Susan Hankins, who attended the Grace & Holy Trinity vigil, said. “Maybe not just Richmond, but our country can fix this, and I hope that it will.” 

Grace & Holy Trinity Church is right next door to the Altria Theater where the shooting took place, making it hit close to home for congregation members like Hankins.

“It was just such a shock,” Hankins said. “We walked by the theater every day, every Sunday coming and going from services. And to think that something like that could happen at a high school graduation was just astonishing.” 

Hankins says it’s important to uplift each other during such a devastating time for Richmond.

“It’s exactly what we needed in the city,” Hankins said. “A small representation of what we hope everyone will do.”

Another prayer vigil is set to take place on Sunday, June 11 at 4 p.m., also in Monroe Park.