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Even Gunfire Nearby Won't Stop Community In North Minneapolis From Gathering In Prayer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A community is coming together to heal by praying every day in July, even after gunfire sent those who gathered on Wednesday fleeing.

A prayer tent has been set up at Bryant and Broadway in North Minneapolis in hopes to give people a place to grieve the recent violence and come up with solutions for it.

"I believe you don't just heal yourself to be better. You heal yourself to do more. So that's the purpose of this. It's a different approach to healing," prayer organizer Don Samuels said.

Former Minneapolis city councilman Don Samuels organized the month-long prayer tent, and those praying to end gun violence on Wednesday were caught in the middle of it. An unrelated shooting happened near the prayer tent around 3 p.m. More than a dozen people were praying at the time.

Despite experiencing that scary situation, many of those people came back today to pray again.

"For me, having never heard gunfire up close before, at first I didn't know what it was and I thought, 'Is that gunfire?' And then one of the leaders said, 'That's gunfire, get down.' So everybody got down and some people ran into the hedge," prayer participant Dianne Pizey said.

Community group Mad Dads is there around the clock to help deescalate any dangerous situations.

Mayor Jacob Frey came by to join in the prayers Thursday morning.

The prayer tent is open to everyone and will be happening from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day this month.

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