“Our citizens stepped up, to give of themselves — not just their blood, or their time, or their money — but to give of their souls,” Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez told the crowd gathered under the pavilion. “To go out and share their emotions and their support. This community has strengthened my faith because of all of the activities of everyone who lives here.”
After officials spoke and offered prayers, 59 candles were lit in memory of those who died. (The death toll was earlier reported to be 59, not 58.)
Simon sat with two of his friends, who were with him when bullets rained down on them from above.
“It was a massacre — it was sheer terror,” Simon said. “People running everywhere, screaming, bullets flying, ricochets of bullets, the sound of the gun that was going off repeatedly for what seemed like forever. It was a night that I’ll never forget.”