Thousands attend City Hall vigil for Orlando victims

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Thousands attended a vigil Monday night at City Hall in Philadelphia for the victims of the Orlando mass shooting.

A sea of diverse faces mourned the murdered.

Philadelphia native Akyra Murray, who graduated last week from West Catholic High School, was one of the 49 slaughtered.

Family friend Angelia Gibson Ayres told Action News she spoke to Akyra's mother.

"I tell her, 'You got to pray. You have to stay strong,' because she has to bury her child. She has to transport her child back here to be buried," Gibson Ayres said.

Mayor Jim Kenney became choked up while speaking at the vigil.

"I can't tell you how devastating it is that she was in the club," Kenney said.

"This was a terrorist attack that was targeted toward to the queer, LGBTQ, Latino community specifically. Really it's about us honoring the victims' lives," Nikki Lopez of of the group Galaei said.

Many at the vigil spoke about their anger and frustration over what occurred in Orlando.

"I'm angry, I'm passionate about what happened, I'm mad about what happened to our people," Emmauel Coreano of North Philadelphia said.

"That could have been me, my family member, my sister my brother," Jai Thompson of Overbrook said.

While the shooting happened miles away, for Angelia Gibson Ayres it was closer.

"You see all the shootings, and it's never touched me personally, this is personal. I hate it," Ayres said.