CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Five days have passed since Lorenzo Gamble was killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia. His mother, Linda Gamble, has not been able to do much, including food, because she misses him so much.
“It was really hard because I never thought in a million years that it would be my baby,” Gamble said. “He is gone, but he will always be in my heart.”
Gamble spoke for a prayer vigil Sunday night at Mount Chesapeake Church in honor of her son and five other employees who police say were fatally shot by a store supervisor. Six others injured in Tuesday’s rampage were also honored.
The 90-minute vigil — filled with music, shows of hands, and invocations of God — was an attempt by the Chesapeake Coalition of Black Pastors to provide some sort of balm to a community still raw from violence.
By the end of the service, Gamble and her husband, Alonzo, were standing along with dozens of others who had lost someone to the carnage, knew someone who was injured, or who works at the store.
Among them was Shelia Bell, 70, a Walmart employee who worked with Lorenzo Gamble, a custodian at the store, for 15 years. She said she also knew the gunman, who died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene.
“To tell you the truth, right now I’m numb inside,” Bell said.
During the vigil, a large purple candle was lit for each of the victims. They were Gamble, 43; Fernando “Jesus” Chavez-Barron, 16; Kelly Pyle, 52; Tyneka Johnson, 22; Brian Pendleton, 38; and Randy Blevins, 70.
“We cannot understand the pain of waiting to hear about your loved ones or even understand the horror of the call when it came,” Senator Mamie Locke previously said. “But what we can do is come together as a community and provide a shoulder to lean on.”
Congressman Bobby Scott said Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 near the Atlantic coast, “now joins the list of too many communities forced to bear the unbearable.”
City officials have scheduled a candlelight vigil Monday night in a city park.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.