Vigil service to help community heal from MLK event tragedy

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 12:37 AM EST
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People in Fort Pierce are pushing to heal from the Martin Luther King Jr. Day tragedy that left one woman dead.

That includes a vigil service at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ilous Ellis Park, the site of the shooting Monday night.

"After such a tragic incident we need our strength and also the confidence to go back into the community and not be afraid,” said Sharon Brown, the co-pastor of First Gospel Tabernacle of Deliverance Church. “We want to let people know that this is a beautiful city and that we are pulling to restore the peace.”

Brown says she was at the MLK parade Monday but left before the shooting where eight people were shot, one of whom passed away from the gunfire.

"I was in shock because the day had gone by and it was dark and now I'm just assuming that everything had gone well and we had a whole day and no problem," said Brown.

Brown has been organizing a vigil service set to take place on Saturday, and has been busy recruiting community leaders, and other pastors to help the community heal through the power of prayer.

“Prayer heals prayer lifts, prayer releases, and so as we pray, we’re believing that god will move for the people of every kind," said Brown. “We are pulling together to restore the peace, we’ve had these incidents and it’s time for it to stop, somebody has to stand up and say enough is enough."

Brown hopes that law enforcement will also be present to build better connections with people in the community as they recover from Monday's tragedy.

“So many people are looking at law enforcement in the wrong way and we need them, and they need us so it would be a coming together and come to a place of resolve where we could sit down and put our ideas together and save this city," Brown said.

Brown says she's working on planning to host future meetings with local leaders and law enforcement to prevent future crime in Fort Pierce, as well as how to keep youth on the right tracks.

"We gather together, put our heads together and our ideas and try to impact the problem," Brown said. "I really believe that the problem comes from poor parenting and sometimes it also comes from the environment and things that children get into with other kids like the gang violence."

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