Hundreds gather in Atlanta to mourn after fatal Orlando mass shooting

Atlantans honor lives lost, call for change

ATLANTA -- Hundreds of people packed the streets of midtown tonight for two candlelight vigils to honor the lives lost and call for change.

It was about a year ago that the streets were filled with celebration after the supreme court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.

But on Sunday, the mood was much more somber.

At the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Road, the epicenter of Atlanta’s LGBT community, the crowds started lining up more than an hour before the vigil was scheduled to start.

People like Patricia Jordan and Heather Muse came here because they were shocked by the news coming out of Orlando.

“Sadly, it’s not unique at all to see a hate crime,” Muse said. “But to see one of this number and of this mass, I think we were stunned into silence.”

A little more than a mile away, another group joined in solidarity near Ansley Mall.

They marched the distance to show their support for those who died.

The march was partially organized by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a social activist group.

“We see what has happened as both a hate crime and a terrorist act and we feel a need to be vocal,” Sister Glitter Ann B. Gay said.

“I actually have friends in Orlando so I messaged all of them to make sure they were ok,” Jonathan Evans said. “Thankfully, all my Orlando friends were safe.”

Atlanta police had increased patrols at the vigils.

And local bars and nightclubs catering to the LGBT community are increasing security as well.

As the sun set and candles shined brightly, they came together to reflect and call for an end to this kind of senseless violence.

“We are asking that the entire community - straight, gay bi, transsexual, no matter - to raise up, get your voices heard to the politicians or whoever, that this has got to end,” one supporter said.

Atlanta police said they had no credible information about any kind of threat but they wanted to increase their patrols to show their support to the LGBT community.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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