Even after a day of unending sadness, about 100 people and nearly as many dogs walked through the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria Wednesday evening to pray for peace and reconciliation in the wake of a multiple shooting there early Wednesday.
Shortly after 7 a.m., a 66-year-old gunman from Illinois began firing dozens of rounds from a rifle by a park in Alexandria, where Republican members of Congress were practicing baseball for a competition for charity.
Then House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), was shot and was reportedly in critical condition late Wednesday night. Four others were also wounded. The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, who didn’t like President Trump, was fatally shot in a town known for its charm.
“We thank you, Father, for this neighborhood and city because of its peacefulness and charity,” said Rev. John Reddy of St. Andrew and St Margaret Anglican Catholic Church, only a block from where the shooting occurred. “We pray that you turn this into something good for humanity.”
“Del Ray is very close knit,” said Jill Ray, who attended the march and service. “When something like this disrupts our nirvana, our equilibrium is upset. “
Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg (D) said gatherings such as these and four others at other churches Wednesday night help reinforce Alexandria ‘s self perception as a city of kindness and compassion.
“We present a united front and walk in solidarity,” she said.