Community members and religious leaders held a moment of blessing Wednesday in Tacoma for shooting victim Morgan Deines.
About 10 people gathered for the blessing on North Seventh Street near North Junett Street, the spot where Deines’ vehicle came to rest after she was shot Nov. 11.
Police said Deines was killed after she and an accomplice were stealing from a parked car and the driver shot her.
The prayer service was conducted by the Rev. Matt Robbins-Ghormley of Trinity Presbyterian Church.
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“The overwhelming feeling is just grief and sadness,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is not just an isolated incident. As we see, bearing witness by these flags, it’s an ongoing problem.”
Several people held poles festooned with ribbon-like flags marking homicides.
“We have, unfortunately, a whole lot of poles,” said Sandy Windley of Associated Ministries. The group has held more than 400 blessings since 1998.
Out of the last 20, about 18 were due to gun violence, Windley said.
“It’s just so prevalent and accepted in our society,” she said.
“It’s tragic and sad, and why?” asked Angie Lokotz, a neighbor and the business manager for the Sixth Avenue Business District. “She’s 23 years old.”
Another neighbor concurred.
“When it happens on the street that you walk past daily, it feels a lot different,” said Karin Van Vlack with Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation.