Chattanoogans honor Waffle House shooting victims
A vigil Sunday night to honor the victims of the shooting at the Waffle House near Nashville was hosted by "Chattanooga Students Leading Change".
Members of the organization say they have a message they want to send to community members and lawmakers, not to become numb to the gun violence in our country.
Allen Liu, one of the student leaders for this event, also helped host a vigil in Chattanooga honoring the Parkland shooting victims. He says he wants these vigils to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence.
“The point of the vigil, I think part of it is, yes, we do need to remember those laws but at the same time I think that remembrance without any kind of response or action is hollow,” said Allen Liu, Chattanooga Students Leading Change student leader.
Channel 3 also spoke to two candidates running for state house of Representatives who attended the vigil, Brandon Woodruff and Melody Shekari.
Woodruff spoke about his connection to his fraternity brother James Shaw Jr. Shaw was the person who pried the rifle out of the hands of the hands of the gunman.
During his speech, Woodruff talked about the impact fear has on violence in Chattanooga. “For us to really have the conversation around violence in our city we have to talk about what puts people at fear, especially young people that are heavily involved in the youth-based violence,” said Brandon Woodruff, Candidate for State House of Representatives, District 28.
Candidate for State House of Representatives, District 28, Melody Shekari came to show her support to the students leading this effort. She says it great to see young people taking the initiative.
“Everybody complains that youth don't get involved they don't show up, they’re not active. Now they are there, up there, active they're involved,” said Melody Shekari, “They are upset they do not want to live every day in fear.”
“As Tennesseans we really do need to recognize and support the victims from the tragedy that hit so close to home,” said Liu, student leader for Chattanooga Students Leading Change.
The Waffle House in Antioch also held a vigil at 3:20 Sunday morning to mark exactly one week since the shooting. There was another vigil at 7:00 a.m. where community members stood five minutes for each of the eight victims.