Candlelight vigil on Friday for victims of South Carolina shooting

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A candlelight vigil will be held on Friday, July 3 to honor the nine victims of the Charleston, S.C. shooting. The event, sponsored by the Connecticut Sikh Association at Guru Nanak Darbar, is being held on their grounds at 1610 West St. in Southington. The vigil is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.

The shooting occurred on the evening of June 17, 2015 at Emanuel African Methodis Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston during a church bible study at one of the United States’ oldest black churches. The shooter, described as a white man, was in attendance at the bible study for more than an hour before opening fire on the group. Ten people were shot, and nine people were killed, including the senior pastor and South Carolina Sen. Clementa C. Pinckney.

The shooting was the largest mass murder at an American place of worship, along with a 1991 shooting at a Buddhist temple in Arizona.

Police arrested a suspect, identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, the following morning. Online photographs show Roof posing with a Confederate flag as well as with flags from other racist governments, and it has sparked a nationwide discussion about racism.

“This tragedy has affected each person in our community,” officials from the Connecticut Sikh Association said in a press release, “and thus we must come together in remembrance of the lives lost and offer our blessings and prayers to the families of the victims.”

Please note, candles and head coverings will be provided. For questions about the event, call (860) 621-3015.

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