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Thousands Gather To Honor Victims In Oregon District Shooting

Sunday night in Dayton’s Oregon District, thousands of people gathered to honor those killed by a gunman early Sunday morning in front of Ned Peppers bar.

Among those attending the vigil, and inspired by the turnout was Erica Pate, a Dayton native now living in Piqua.

“This is a beautiful beautiful showing, just showing how strong we are when we are all united upon one mind, working together with thought and process," she said. "If we can just stay in this cadence and just remain together, there’s nothing we can’t do.  It’s sad that we have to rebuild like this, but I believe all things are working together for our good."

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Credit Jerry Kenney / WYSO
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WYSO

Renee Westermeyer of Springboro said there were bigger issues to discuss but on this evening it was coming together that mattered most.

“We just felt that it was very important to be here, to not only support the community but the families of the victims that were lost, and those that are recovering."

Westermeyer reflected the thoughts of others at the vigil when she said, "It’s going to be a tough time for the community to recover and heal and move forward."

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Credit Jerry Kenney / WYSO
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WYSO

Local and state leaders addressed the crowd, as did spiritual leaders of different faiths throughout the Miami Valley.

There was a mix of emotions on display at the vigil - sadness, and then anger as many in the crowd shouted “Do something!”

But perhaps one of the more inspirational moments of the evening came as officials released 10 doves to the skies above Dayton, one to represent the survivors of the shooting - and then nine others in honor of the victims who did not survive.

Copyright 2020 WYSO. To see more, visit WYSO.

Thousands fill 5th Street, in the quater-mile stretch of business and entertainment venues of the Oregon District.
Jerry Kenney /
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Thousands fill 5th Street, in the quater-mile stretch of business and entertainment venues of the Oregon District.

Jerry Kenney /
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Jerry Kenney /
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Victim's families and friends release balloons as their names are read from the stage.
Jerry Kenney /
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Victim's families and friends release balloons as their names are read from the stage.

Jerry Kenney /
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Outside Ned Peppers, were the shooting took place.
Jerry Kenney /
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Outside Ned Peppers, were the shooting took place.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.