MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In a place where cheering and rallying are usually heard outside the Metrodome was silent for a candlelight vigil Saturday night.
“We just feel really bad about the situation and we want to just support Adrian and his family,” said Megan Tamkey from Minneapolis.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son died Friday, allegedly from child abuse by his mother’s boyfriend.
“I was devastated,” Teddie McKinley from Roseville said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Vigil coordinator Ismary McCartey was abused as a child by her own mother. She held the vigil to bring the community together, to create awareness and hopefully change.
“We just want to take this time to just honor a child who lost his life, and bring to light that this is a huge epidemic,” McCartey said.
“It’s something that we really need to start combating more thoroughly,” she said.
In 2010, 4,668 children were victims of abuse or neglect in Minnesota. Fourteen of them died from their abuse.
“It’s a terrible thing that happens and especially the fact that it could all have been prevented had consequences been served for previous problems that this guy had,” McKinley said. “The kid would still be here.
Out of tragedy, supporters are hoping Peterson’s loss will make the community take notice of a bigger issue so no more lives are lost.
“Make sure people are aware that it exists; it doesn’t just happen to Adrian Peterson’s son, this happens to people across the country,” McCartey said.
Click here to see a list of Minnesota’s child protection agencies.