OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - More than 200 people attended a "night of healing" on Tuesday at Frank Ogawa Plaza to oppose gun violence, mass shootings and white supremacy. And one of the most poignant moments came when a man said he's lost 12 relatives in the last three years.
People attending the vigil, hosted by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, told KTVU that gun violence has affected them in a number of ways. For many, it's the pain of losing loved ones. Others say they have the added pain of when the victims go overlooked. .
"My nephew was in a triple homicide and there wasn't a gathering like that for him," Daryle Alums said.
He said his nephew, Dante Claude Johnson who was killed in January, was the 12th family member he's lost to gun violence in just three years. And he came to the vigil to honor his nephew and all those who have been killed by guns.
For others, gun violence raises safety concerns.
A teenager who immigrated from Guatemala six years ago said because of her skin color, she's worried she may be a target.
"When I go out, I'm scared because you don't know if something is going to happen to you, like what happened in Walmart in Texas," said 17-year-old Vilma Tayun of Oakland.
She and others came to find solace and solutions. Some say mass shootings often stem from racism.
"Through our grief and our fear, we are strengthened to take on the challenges of gun violence and racism," Lee said as she addressed the crowd. "Acknowledging each other's history and pain brings a healing and the strength needed to overcome grief and to bring take bold action."
Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, said that the shooters are not "individuals with mental health issues. This is a movement of people who are afraid of the way the demographics of this country are changing."
Added David Gaines with Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center: "We have to dive deep as to why it happened. We have to take it and own it. That's the only way to fix it."