CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Vigils were held around Chattanooga Thursday night after four U.S. Marines were killed by a lone gunman in what officials are calling an “act of domestic terrorism.”
News 2’s Talia Kaplan visited Wesley United Methodist Church on East Brainerd Road where a vigil began at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
It was one of at least six events being held by area churches to allow the community together in prayer.
At the service, candles were lit for each of the victims, including the gunman.
“I’m thinking why should we light a candle for him but… forgive him,” said Betty Jones, who attended the vigil.
A Chattanooga officer was also remembered after he was injured in the tragic shooting.
“Lord god we do praise you that he was not killed,” the pastor said to the people.
Jack Holland knows the officer because he works with a citizen patrol group called “Guardian Angels.” They interact with the officers frequently.
“Friendly guy, very professional,” Holland said. “I hope everyone keeps him in their thoughts and prayers and stuff so him and his family can get through this.”
Vigils were also held at the following locations:
- Metro Tabernacle, 2101 West Shepherd Road
- Redemption Point on 1907 Bailey Avenue
- Venue Church, Shallowford Road
- The Bessie Smith Cultural Center
- Abba’s House in Hixson, just outside of Chattanooga
A vigil will also be held by the Student Veterans Organization at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at 9 a.m. Friday morning at the Fifth Street flagpole.