ORLANDO, Fla. — A vigil was held in Orlando Sunday evening to remember local victims of gun violence.
Families who lost loved ones were joined by community and state leaders at Eagle Nest Park to shed light on recent tragedies that have claimed young lives in Orange County.
Representative Maxwell Frost said this vigil was organized in direct response to 6-year-old Ajahliyah Hashim being shot inside her home two weeks ago not far from the park.
Although her family wasn’t at the vigil, several other families of gun violence victims were here to share their stories in hopes of bringing an end to gun violence.
“With every person is family. There’s loved ones. There’s hopes and aspirations. Cut short because they were shot,” Frost said.
Among the families at the vigil were the parents of nine-year-old T’yonna Major.
“We just celebrated a birthday without her. We could honor her with balloons. We had other plans but that’s all taken,” T’yonna Major’s mother said.
T’yonna was a 3rd grader at Pine Hill Elementary School when she was fatally wounded in a shooting in February.
Investigators said suspected shooter Keith Moses broke into her family’s Pine Hill home shooting her and her mother after shooting a woman nearby hours earlier.
“I forget that I am a victim as well because my heart hurts. A bullet wound heals, but the pain I feel in my heart after losing my child is the worst thing ever,” said Major’s mother.
Investigators say suspect Keith Moses then went outside and shot a Spectrum 13 photographer and fatally shot reporter Dylon Lyons.
Lyon’s fiancé, Casey said she and Dylan planned to get married and build a family together.
“Knowing he got killed doing what he loved to do destroys me,” said Lyons fiancé Casey. “We had barely started our lives together when it was ripped away from us in the blink of an eye.”
Nearly every victim represented by family at the vigil was under the age of 25 when they were tragically taken by gun violence.
“There’s a lot of work we need to do here,” Frost added.
At the end of the vigil, dozens took an oath swearing to act in solidarity with those affected by gun violence.
Frost said this vigil serves as a collective recommitment to ending gun violence.
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