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Tampa community mourns victims of Uvalde, Buffalo mass shootings

Tampa community mourns victims of Uvalde, Buffalo mass shootings
Posted at 6:24 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 23:11:45-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa community gathered to show support and compassion for the victims of the Uvalde, TX. and Buffalo NY., mass shootings.

The recent mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers has impacted so many in Tampa. They came together to remember those 21 lives lost and the 10 people killed at Tops Market in Buffalo.

Police officers, community members and elected officials, all came to Lykes Gaslight Park, to mourn those killed in two separate mass shootings, ten days apart. Though the mass shootings happened hundreds of miles away, the pain is felt right here at home, with speakers calling it a human tragedy.

Tampa Police Chaplain, Reverend Clarence Nathan, who led the prayer vigil said the school shooting in Texas hits close to home for many police officers.

“You think of your own children," Nathan said. "You think of your own grandchildren, and it affects how you are able to go on and respond in your daily activities. So, yeah it does affect our officers as well."

The chaplain said the prayer vigil is to remember all victims of gun violence. He wants to see changes in gun laws to prevent another senseless attack.

“We need to talk to those who are in the seat of power in our nation's capital," he said. "We can not go back to business as usual. We have to have some resolution. This cannot continue to keep happening."

And Tampa Mayor Jane Castor agrees.

"We have got to look at where we stand as a nation and firearm safety, gun safety," she said.

But some in the crowd tell ABC Action News that beyond legislation, change also starts with local political involvement and in our everyday interactions with each other.

"When we boil everything down, it's about community. Do you know who your neighbors are? Do you know what's going on in your community? Do you know who's to your left and right? Do you know if they've had problems?" said Lee Oliver.

And as we all process these traumatic events, Lee's wife, Kristie, encourages folks o take care of themselves too.

"Look inwardly, be honest with yourself, how do you feel? If you think you need to talk to a mental health professional, please do so," said Kristie Oliver.