Louisville continues to attempt to heal following the tragic mass shooting which took place Monday morning at Old National Bank. Hundreds visited the Muhammad Ali Center on Wednesday where a community-wide vigil was held to reflect and remember the people we lost.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg spoke early, addressing the waves of emotions those in the crowd were feeling.. “This vigil will be to acknowledge the wounds, physical and emotional, that gun violence leaves behind. Whether you knew some of these wonderful people who were killed on Monday or not, we come together this evening to acknowledge that every violent death is tragic.”

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was among the speakers as well and visibly shaken by the events of the week. “These are irreplaceable Kentuckians taken far too soon by the senseless act of violence. Acts like this tear at the very fabric of humanity, of who we are and certainly who we want to be.”

Six people, including the gunman, died on Monday morning. The victims were 63-year-old Tommy Elliott, 64-year-old Jim Tutt, 40-year-old Josh Barrick, 45-year-old Juliana Farmer and 57-year-old Deana Eckert. A total of nine patients, including three Louisville police officers, were taken to the University of Louisville Hospital following the incident. Officer Nickolas Wilt remains in critical condition.

Muslim Americans for Compassion (MAC) President Dr. Muhammad Babar Cheema spoke to the cycle of violence in our nation saying, “Like you all, I’m frustrated by this nonstop vicious cycle of deadly shootings. Like you all, I’m dead tired of posting hollow words and prayers on social media after each incident of a mass shooting. It does not matter whether you’re a republican or democrat, whether you own a gun or not. Please do something.”

“I know that we all want our children to be safe in their schools, for our loved ones to return home every evening for supper. If we share the same aspirations, why can we not agree on solutions to curb this endless cycle of violence?,” he asked. “How many more have to depart this world without saying goodbye to their loved ones? Why can’t we find a solution to this cancer of mass shootings? I am begging to whoever is listening out in this universe to do something as we cannot continue this business as usual. Living in fear is not a life our children deserve.”

Watch Dr. Babar’s full speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvgfBHZuVVw
A new, better quality version of the speech is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIqajf1c9wI

Other speakers at the event were Old National Bank CEO Jim Ryan, mass shooting survivor Whitney Austin, U.S. Rep. Morgan McGarvey, Sen. Gerald Neal, Louisville Archbishop Shelton Fabre, Metro Council president Markus Winkler, Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner and Rev. J. Herbert Nelson III.

More coverage was featured in several media outlets, including Spectrum News, Wave3, WLKY, and Louisville Public Media.

Read analysis from the Washington Post here.


Additional coverage by WLKY on April 30