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Local pastor hosts vigil to honor victims of Greenwood Park Mall, Beech Grove shootings

"These are dark times for our community,"
Gwood_Beech Grove vigil.jpg
Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 06:15:05-04

GREENWOOD — Monday night, just 24 hours after two shootings in Central Indiana, a church that sits between Beech Grove and Greenwood opened its doors.

The lead pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Ryan Bailey, put together a vigil to let the community know that they will get through this together.

"These are dark times for our community," Bailey said.

Dark times met with hope at the church.

"There's an element of shock of course. But also, very sadly, an element of not being shocked because these shootings are happening with such regularity across the country. In any sort of setting as you can imagine that it seems like it's only a matter of time before it comes to a place that is close to you," Bailey said.

Bailey said he felt a calling to bring the community together, after the two shootings that happened on Sunday evening.

"It just seemed like there wasn't any space being provided at least that we were aware of that was giving people the opportunity to come together and express their grief," Bailey said.

Paige Dougherty, 17, is one of more than two dozen people who came together to sing and pray Monday night. She said she was working at Barnes and Noble inside the Greenwood Park Mall when the shooting happened.

"I'm a little scared to go back," Dougherty said.

Still, on edge after the shooting, she said it’s difficult to process regular acts of violence in her community.

“It stresses me out a little bit seeing all of this, especially with the school shootings. You hear like chip bags popping open in the cafeteria, and everyone just kind of goes silent for a second thinking it could be gunshots. And it goes back to normal. Big crowds kind of scares me now,” Dougherty said.

"Any of the parents may have been at that mall doing back-to-school shopping last night. To have it hit so close it's a bit of a wake-up call that there isn't anywhere that is immune to this type of violence. We have things that are going on in our society that affects every corner of our country," Bailey said.