The 30th annual anti-violence vigil was held in Durham days after 5 people were killed in a shooting in Raleigh

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) — Days after a mass shooting claimed the lives of five people in Raleigh, Durham church leaders took a stand Saturday against gun violence.

The vigil was planned before the Raleigh shooting, but leaders say they want to help the Raleigh community through the tragedy.

As the event marked the 30th annual vigil, organizers say that’s not a good thing.

“We wouldn’t be here if all this gun violence stopped, we have to find a way to control this,” said Annette Love of the Religious Coalition for Non-Violence Durham.

The group read aloud 49 names of victims of gun violence in Durham in 2021, while also remembering those recently killed in Raleigh.

“What happened in Raleigh is just unnecessary, it’s heartbreaking, so hopefully we here in Durham can help those in Raleigh through this,” Love said.

With the victims’ names woven together on a quilt at the event, organizers say remembering the victims is the first step to bringing about change.

“The whole community can do that, an encouraging word, say something, do something, but do nothing,” Love said.

But beyond that, they say it’s up to lawmakers to make communities safer.

“Pass these bills they have in the legislature if we have to get out, go out there, stand in front of the legislature building, have them pass these bills for safer laws, whatever needs to be done, do it! ” Love said.

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