Vigil held at Peace Park to remember synagogue shooting victims

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COLUMBIA - More than 200 people gathered in Peace Park Sunday evening to remember the 11 people killed in a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning. 

"It's for the support, it's for a place we hope people feel comfortable expressing any grief or anger or frustration or whatever they are feeling," Jeanne Snodgrass, Executive Director of MU Hillel, said.

Snodgrass helped set up the vigil, just one day after the tragedy occurred. 

"This morning we realized that for ourselves and for the community more broadly it was really important that we do something," she said.

The group sang together, prayed and lit 11 candles, one for each of the shooting victims.

Shari Weinman, a member of the Congregation of Beth Shalom, said the outpouring of support from those outside of the Jewish community was overwhelming.

"We're your neighbors, we're your friends, we're your colleagues, we're part of this town and a threat to any of us is really a threat to all of us," Weinman said.

Akili Barnstone, who came out to the vigil, said hate crimes like what happened in Pittsburgh will not control her.
"You say, I'm afraid, but I will not let that fear rule me," she said.
Weinman said she hopes the vigil will help the community move forward.
"For our community here I think it really brought us together and we're using it to stand strong and we will continue to do so."
The vigil lasted for just about an hour. UM System President Mun Choi and Columbia Mayor Brian Treece also attended the event.

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