STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — About 300 people gathered at Victory Park in Stockton on Tuesday for a prayer vigil following a flurry of homicides in the past two weeks.
Stockton has seen 10 homicides since the beginning of the year; at this time last year, there were six.
Eight of those homicides have happened in less than two weeks’ time.
The community’s clergy held a vigil and led prayers, pleading for an end to all the violence.
“Everything we possess, that we may be instruments of peace for the city of Stockton,” said Pastor Nelson Rabell, of the Lutheran Community Church.
“Our city needs to unify in order for us to just raise awareness of this is an issue we’re not wanting to stand idly by — watch lives continually lost to gun violence,” said Toni McNeil, lead community organizer with Faith in the Valley.
“Now is the time for us to continue to come together in unity and find strength in hope and confidence in one another. Support each other every step of the way,” said Mayor Kevin Lincoln.
People in attendance held candles and passed along a single piece of string to show their solidarity.
“We’re gonna start with this ball of string. We’re gonna start with the one person, and as one person gets the string, they’re going to pass it to the next person. And before it’s all said and done, everybody’s going to be connected in unity by this string, from all walks of life, from all kinds of neighborhoods, salaries. We bleed the same. We hurt the same when we lose people that we love,” said a woman in attendance.