Mayor Gorton, faith leaders hold End the Violence prayer vigil in Lexington

Posted at 7:46 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 23:15:40-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and local faith leaders gathered at the courthouse tonight to hold an End the Violence prayer vigil.

The vigil was held near the Crime Victims Memorial at the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza and the public was invited.

During the past two weeks, there have been 12 shootings in Lexington that have resulted either in injuries or deaths.

Ricardo Franklin's brother, Antonio, died from gun violence. Franklin is now a Community Outreach Coordinator with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

"Our roles in the community are to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement," says Franklin. "I always tell everyone, I said, it's not just us — it can be anyone and that's the beauty of it is that it takes a community. It can be anyone from the community that steps in that role and plays that part."

He also suggests talking to pastors, teachers, or anyone you trust.

More than a half dozen religious figures from the community, from all different faiths, spoke at the vigil. They all had the same message of praying for peace and fighting for change.

"We need to begin in prayer so were starting out right tonight, in prayer, because its going to take the power of almighty god if we are to be successful in this effort," said Pastor Richard Gaines of Consolidated Baptist Church.

"This is a collective disaster. It is a communal disaster. It's a nationwide disaster. It's not a 'me' thing, an 'I' thing, a 'you' thing, it's an 'us' thing," said Rabbi David Wirtschafter of Temple Adath Isreal.

Mayor Gorton also spoke to the crowd. "Tonight is a time to come together, to pray for those we have lost," she said.