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Gov. Abbott, other politicians join Allen community at vigil to honor shooting victims

Emotions overflow at church vigil for victims of the Allen outlet mall shooting
Emotions overflow at church vigil for victims of the Allen outlet mall shooting 04:11

ALLEN (  Thousands of mourners packed the Cottonwood Creek Church Sunday evening to remember the eight victims killed in Saturday's shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets.

John Mark Caton, a senior pastor at Cottonwood Creek, led the vigil service—offering support to a broken community with a wide range of emotions.

And while some attended to try and make sense of the tragedy, others came to sound off against lawmakers like Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

Mall Shooting Texas
Mary Ann Foley holds a protest sign outside a prayer vigil following a mass shooting the day before, Sunday, May 7, 2023, in Allen, Texas. LM Otero / AP

On two separate occassions, protestors had to be escorted out by police for shouting at them.

And they weren't alone. Outside the church, a less confrontational but equally vocal group gathered, demading gun reform laws.

"I know they are going to be grieving forever and ever, and I don't know if you can step outside that grief to put pressure on the politicians in the State of Texas to do something," demonstrator Sam Richard said.

At the vigil's end, many were left with mixed emotions and thoughts on how much it accomplished in the way of healing.

"It helped reflecting on what was happening, but we have to move forward and we have to come together and be there for each other and that's what Allen is about," said attendee Kasey Hendricks.

But Allen resident Shirin Ehsani said the vigil did nothing. "This did nothing...we need policy change...we need more than thoughts and prayers."


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