Vigils To End Gun Violence Held Across The US

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Communities around the country held vigils Sunday – one year after a deadly shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and 13 wounded, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The congresswoman made an appearance Sunday night, leading a crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance at a candle light vigil to honor the shooting victims.

In Minnesota, gun violence is responsible for nearly one death every week. And on the same day the Tucson shooting was remembered, Minneapolis communities took time to remember those who died by bullets in the streets and in their homes.

The vigils held a special place for the children and teenagers taken by gunshot wounds.

In December, 3-year-old Terrell Mayes Jr. died after a seemingly random bullet broke through a wall and struck him in the head. Mayes’ mother, Marsha Mayes, is still in mourning.

“Terrell is in a necklace now. I had my son cremated,” she said. “My son was delivered to me yesterday, and that is not okay.”

She recalled the day her son was shot. She said she had just left the house to buy her son chips and cookies when the bullet struck.

“In the blink of an eye, my son was taken away from me,” she said.

The pain brought by gun violence is something Mayes and her community is still keenly feeling.

Inside Ascension Church on Sunday, people who had lost loved ones to gun violence filled the pews. The names of the lives lost were read and their pictures attached to a remembrance tree.

“We need to stop this violence out here on the streets,” said Cindy Braxton, whose 14-year-old son Quantell was shot in the street while playing tag with friends.

Cindy Braxton is now a part of From Death to Life, one of several organizations working to end gun violence.

Protect Minnesota, Mad Dads and other groups say it will take a collective effort to make a change.

VJ Smith of Mad Dads was at the service and he said that change will only happen when all kinds of people come together to make it happen.

“I believe in exactly what I saw here today: blacks, whites, people of all colors coming together,” he said. “We can’t have the white folks over here doing one thing and blacks over here. We’ve got to come together to have a solution.”

Justice For Terrell Mayes, Jr.
To help Crime Stoppers find the person responsible for killing 30-year-old Terrell Mayes, Jr., click the link below.
Justice For Terrell Mayes, Jr.

More from Reg Chapman
  • Crazy Joe

    Sure blame the guns again. Its the looney people causing the violence not the tools. Sounds a little left leaning political to me.

    • Real Talk

      Gun violence is inevitable. Guns were made for violence. The are designed to kill and destroy. That is their purpose.

      If you want guns in this society….dont complain about the related violence that is going to ensue. Dont want gun violence…get rid of the guns. But in doing that, you will only replace gun violence with some other type of violence.

      Humans are violent by nature. Not everyone is…but generally speaking as a species….we are especially violent and cruel compared to other specieis. Preventing violence among the human race is like trying to get the sun to stop rising in the east….good luck.

  • james2

    When we have sensible drug laws, and end Prohibition as we now know it, much of this will stop. When Reagan did Zero-Tolerance and C.A.M.P in the 80’s, gangs in L.A. quadrupled in numbers.

    Guns don’t kill people. People do. We all know that. Take away the reason(s).

  • Vigilant Vigilante

    Vigils are even more senseless than gun violence. They do ZERO to actually thwart gun violence. Thugs, gang-bangers, criminals and all nefarious characters routinely ignore them. Can you see some Crips hangin’ out in their crib planning a drive-by, loading hollowpoints into clips, when one of them says? “Hey wait fellas, there’s a vigil down the street. You know, we probably shouldn’t indiscriminately spray bullets into an innocent crowd of people today.” Thank you vigil, you saved us. Instead vigils just gin up anti-gun sentiment against legal, law abiding gun owners. Utterly worthless.

    • Real Talk

      “Hey, what happened to all the gun violence in this country?”

      reply, “Didn’t you hear? They held a vigil against it a while back…problems been solved ever since.

      Gee….THANKS VIGIL!!!!

  • helpermonkey

    Hey…I have an idea. How about spending that vigil energy on some accountability and structure for the young men in your community? You won’t get to be on TV as often, but you’ll live longer. It even works with elephants! Check it out…

  • tan pup

    Same story; kid gets killed by random gun fire in gang infested neighborhoods, hold a vigil. Nothing ever changes – an innocent child, mother, father, teen gets shot, hold a vigil. Yet none of these residents will turn over the guilty. Why? Because they are “protecting” their “brothers”. Again, why? I guess it’s the same story; if we solve our problems, hold ourselves accountable, we can’t be the victim. Every child deserves a chance, why aren’t your leaders doing more to reward the good solid citizens who want to make a diffence?

  • Andy

    I agree, you have a right to bear arms, period. Same story guns don’t kill people people do. Its funny though, a lot of gun violence hapens when so called police murder citezens in useless drug raids, ove zealous policing and the further equiping the police forces with militirized weapons. You will never hear anything about the daily gun violence that happens when it comes to the police muredering citizens though. Because they’re the good guys right? Check out

    • jackactionhero

      Get lost, Andy. This is not the time or place to rip law enforcement.

      • Andy

        Jack, was not ripping law enforcement, though they do deserve it on many occasions. I was pointing out that gun violence does not just happen by the hands of the “civilian” population. The police play a big ro;e in it also.

  • andy

    role sorry

  • Kevin

    The violence in N Mpls will end with the N Mpls community becomes fed up and tried of living in fear. The police and or Govt can not change or stop the violence. Take away the guns and the thugs will just use baseball bats. Until the community takes a stand against the gangs it will continue. Unitl the parents become parents, it will continue. Until those in the community become self sufficiant, it will continue. Until drug users stop using drugs, it will continue. The war on drugs is a joke. It fills our prisons and it fills our grave yards. The drug use in America feeds the Mexican Cartell death machines. And as most of the killings in Mpls are gang and drug related, you can blame MN drug users for the killings. Not guns. THe guns are just a tool used in the trade. The guns are the end result of numerous failed systems. When 12 year old girls are at home in bed, instead of being shot at a party at 2:00 AM in N Mpls…….when parents become parents….when the community fights back against the gangs and drug use….when the community stops makeing excusses……..when the communities morales, standards, and expectations change…then the deaths will decrease…….

    • Bob

      Kevin outstanding post.

      • jean

        yes very well said :::Kevin { outstanding post}: you here that people; yes north side that mean you two

  • Bob

    How about a vigil to end vigils, makes about as much sense.

  • Bill Clintons Cigar

    This is just like a heroin addict blaming the needle for him being a junkie……unreal…..

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