DALLAS – Dozens of community members gathered at College Park in Oak Cliff on Friday night. They gathered for another candlelight vigil in memory of Gabrielle Simmons.
Simmons was a 28-year-old mother of six. She was shot during an armed robbery on Monday while working at Dollar General on Sunnyvale Street.
“Sister Gabrielle was a very loved person,” a minister said as he stood before a large crowd at the vigil.
Simmons’ murder is still sending shock waves across the community.
"When you look around, you see this army that has come out in support tonight, and that’s what it’s all about," the minister continued.
An army of people who gathered at the vigil still wants answers. They came prepared with solutions.
Trenton Hearn, a little league coach with the Mid-City Jaguars was emotional. "This is one of the times where we have to really show that we are a family," Hearn said.
Mothers and fathers were holding their children a little tighter.
The vigil was organized by a group of little league coaches from southern Dallas. Most of them are still trying to understand why a 15-year-old boy has been arrested for Simmons’ murder.
”We’ve got to do better,” said Coach Olen Rider. “All the older people have got to do better by the teenagers and the youth.”
Simmons’ grieving fiance’, Aris, has been focused on comforting and caring for their children. The youngest child is 7-months-old, the oldest is 11. The children are still trying to understand why they have not seen their mom in days.
"We need to get involved,” said Tigist Solomon with Urban Specialists. The non-profit works to put an end to violent crime.
“How many more times can we have a candlelight vigil?” Solomon said.
Community organizers, coaches, and families were standing in solidarity, saying it is time to engage the youth.
"How are they getting the guns? What’s going on in their homes? It’s the other things that’s involving them first," Solomon said.
The vigil became a call to action, as community members released balloons in memory of a mother who just wanted to work to give her family a better life.
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