Mourning & Warning: Vigil for El Paso Shooting Victims Held at Main Plaza
Photos by B Kay Richter - Reporter, SA Sentinel
August 5, 2019 - San Antonio
Article By: B Kay Richter - Reporter, SA Sentinel
Local community members came together for a vigil on Sunday evening following the gun violence that resulted in the mass murdering of individuals in El Paso and Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio. Officials in El Paso reported 22 dead after a gunman opened fire at a Walmart on Saturday.
The vigil at Main Plaza on Sunday was organized by Michael Montaño who said his initial motivation for organizing the event was due to gun violence in his own family. "My 100-year-old-grandmother sits right there," said Montaño as he pointed to an elderly woman sitting at a table nearby. "She lost my aunt, her daughter to gun violence.”
The speakers at the vigil included a slew of local politicians such as San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales, State Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), and an aid representing U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D - TX).
Mayor Nirenberg pointed to the number of times that Main Plaza had been used as a place to voice the discontentment over the current government regime in the White House. "Unfortunately, we'll have to do this all over again and remind ourselves who we are as a city…as a nation," he said.
Sheriff Salazar warned that the type of hate-fueled violence which occurred in El Paso could also happen in San Antonio. "The last thing we want to do is to be in denial and say that this could never happen in San Antonio," Salazar said. "It could and it might."
Others who spoke at the vigil included San Antonio Poet Laureate, Carmen Tafolla, and Incarnate Word Sister, Martha Ann Kirk. They were joined by representatives from the local chapter of Moms Demand Action.
Officials in El Paso are asking for blood donations for the victims of the mass shooting. The El Paso Community Foundation is also accepting funds to help the families of those affected by Saturday's tragedy.