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Hundreds mourn mass shooting victims at Florence Church as community turns to healing

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Hundreds of people from in and around Florence packed the auditorium at Crossroads Church to remember the four people killed in Saturday’s mass shooting on Ridgecrest Dive.

People prayed for the three victims still recovering in the hospital, and began the process of healing a wound that’s affected much of the region.

The event was largely unscripted with a significant portion dedicated to allowing anyone to come up to prayer counselors lining the room to talk, pray, or mourn however they felt best.

During this period, many held each other in the front of the room and openly wept.

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An emotional mayor Julie Aubuchan addressed the crowd offering support for anyone in need and announced that she’d spoken with the three people injured in the shooting.

“They were excited that we potentially had their phones,” Aubuchan said. “They thought their phones were lost, so that’s a glimmer of hope.”

The mayor said the two injured women were kind and determined to recover and the injured man was a fighter.

“The gentleman is full of spunk,” she said. “He walked out of that house, which I don’t understand how he did while he was injured.”

Aubuchan offered no answers as to how to prevent such an event from happening again when we asked.

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We were able to obtain criminal records on the suspected gunman who later shot and killed himself, Chase Garvey, and found he was a convicted felon who was able to obtain a gun.

“I’m going to be very honest,” Aubuchan said, “that’s not been my focus because that’s not my control. Our focus has been those grieving families and those in the hospital.”

Community Pastor Kacie Bryant said it would take a long time for the community to heal, but the church is in it for the long haul.

“It’s not just a one and done thing. It’s something you have to continue to do, honestly, for the rest of your life because it just keeps coming up,” Bryant said.

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Florence is opening the Government Center to anyone in need Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the lower level where mental health professionals and therapy animals will be providing aid.

Florence community continues to remember 4 people killed in birthday party shooting

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