‘It’s Still Raw in Everyone’s Minds’: Group Gathers for Arizona Shooting Vigil at U.S. Capitol

By Dschabner

Jan 8, 2011 9:12pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe and John Parkinson report:

A group of 40 to 50 people gathered at the Capitol in Washington tonight for a vigil in support of the victims of today’s shooting in Tucson, Ariz.

Michael Frias hails from Arizona, so he wanted to brave this evening’s freezing cold weather in D.C. to show his backing for his home state.

“I just thought it was the right thing to do to come down here and show my support,” Frias said.

“You can’t answer the ‘why?’ right now,” he said, “but everyone feels a collectiveness when something tragic like this happens, so I think it’s just natural to want to come together.”

The group gathered a block away from the Capitol and walked up to the steps of the dome, where they lit candles and hugged each other.

Jason Gooljar helped organize the vigil on Facebook and Twitter.

“I wanted to come here tonight because it’s such a new thing to happen today -– and it’s still raw in everyone’s minds,” he said on the steps of the Capitol.

“I wanted to just get a few people together and, you know, show the country that maybe we can do things differently,” Gooljar said. 

“I really wanted Arizona to know that, you know, the capital sends its thoughts to them,” he said.

Brett Copeland of Virginia echoed that message to the victims of the shooting.

“Thank you and you are in my thoughts and prayers,” he said.

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