Concord holds community vigil for latino community and mass shooting victims

In Concord, community leaders held a gathering and vigil to help East Bay families in fear after the mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton.

They say the event honors the victims and reassures those  scared and saddened by the incidents. 

Several nonprofits that work with immigrant families held the vigil at Todos Santos Plaza Friday evening.

Organizer says it's time to heal from the hurt caused by the shootings.

A the sun was setting, the name of each victim from the 3 recent shootings were read aloud during what organizers describe as a respect for humanity vigil.

"A lot of families are having nightmares, the trauma, what could happen to them," said Ady Olvera who attended the vigil with her two children.

"It's definitely hit close to home," said Maria Dorado of Pleasant Hill.

She says she has  several relatives who work at the El Paso Walmart where a mass shooting occurred.

"They're scared the comunity has been traumatized by this," said Dorado.

She and her husband Francisco Dorado tell KTVU their 9-year-old daughter Maya expressed concern about attending the vigil.

"I was worried that there would be gun shooters here. I  didn't really feel safe but  seeing all these people I  feel comfortable with this," said Maya. 

"That's what we're showing them, that we're not just going to stay home, talk quietly and not doing anything about it," said her father Francisco.  

"We will make sure that children are as safe as possible," Paul Ramirez told the crowd.  He is with United Latino Voices of Contra Costa County.  He helped  to organize this event. Ramirez says a mother contacted him to say she didn't want to let her children go to school because she feared for their safety.

Ramirez hopes this vigil will help calm fears and serve as an anchor for a community adrift.

"They're seeking somewhere to console themselves.  And again, grief is temporary. We keep going.  It's a passage. It's not a place we stay," said Ramirez.

The mayor of Concord says she wanted to participate to show the Latino community the city supports them.

"I know right now,  it's very difficult. Whenever they watch what's going on the national stage and feel targeted and under attack,    we want to reassure them that Concord is different," said Carlyn Obringer.

"I'm worried about my neighbors. I think we need to come together and take care of each other," said Olvera.

Organizers say the vigil is a call to action.  They're urging people to register to vote and to get out and vote each and every election.