After Charleston Attack, Denver Congregation Gathers For ‘Unity’

June 19, 2015
Photo: Shorter Community A.M.E. Church
People of all races and faiths gathered at The Shorter Community A.M.E. Church in Denver Thursday night, June 18, 2015 to pray after a shooting at a black church in Charleston, S.C. earlier this week. 

Several hundred people gathered for a candlelight vigil in Denver Thursday night to remember those killed in an attack on a church in Charleston.

Mourners and clergy at the Shorter Community A.M.E. Church in northeast Denver grieved the loss of nine black parishioners who were gunned down in what authorities describe as a hate crime.

Shorter A.M.E. Pastor Timothy Tyler organized the prayer vigil. He knew the pastor killed in the Charleston church.

“We’ve gathered tonight to be together," Tyler said. "Several times today I’ve been asked why are we gathering. And I’m not sure why we’re gathering tonight, other than we need you … and perhaps you need us.”

Jayson Scott, a member of the church that is a sister congregation to the one in South Carolina, said the vigil helped him process what happened.

“To be able to come with the unity of people in the community and be able to just share your expressions and your feelings and emotions, in the process, certainly helps,” Scott said.

Religious leaders lit nine candles at the vigil in honor of each of the victims.