Kalamazoo community pauses to remember victims of gun violence, discuss prevention

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - This weekend Kalamazoo will pause to remember the victims of gun violence, and talk about ways to prevent it.

This is the third year for the service to honor those lost to gun violence, and this year organizers are also focusing on preventing more deaths from happening.

This service is taking place one day before the one year anniversary of the tragic mass shooting in Kalamazoo.

Six people were killed and two others injured.

They will be honored, along with the others who lost their lives over the last year.

The families of victims of murder, suicide, and accidental shooting deaths are invited to attend the service and candle-lighting ceremony on Sunday afternoon at Second Baptist Church.

Organizers say this is an issue that affects everyone, no matter where you live, and organizers say it's important to talk about the issue.

"To remember those who have perished and also to bring awareness to the broader community that this is a public health crisis and that it's in our hands to do something about it," said Louise Wright, from the Coalition for Common Ground.

"Be smart training is hopefully something that will help us to turn a really sad situation into some more optimistic outcomes," said Pastor Dr. Strick Strickland, with Second Baptist Church.

The service and training are happening on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Second Baptist Church, in Kalamazoo.

It is free and open to everyone.