SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A spate of recent violence in Springfield, headlined by a shooting on Berkshire Avenue, has prompted a vigil later this week.
When Victor Nieves of Springfield shot and killed 52-year-old Kim Fairbanks, her 10-year-old granddaughter, and wounded her 12-year-old granddaughter it brought the city of Springfield to 24 homicides already this year.
This marks a resurgence to pre-pandemic numbers. And people in Springfield are feeling this rise in violence.
“I don’t feel comfortable,” like I told you” Reina Ruiz expressed. She told 22News, “I come out when it’s daylight but when it’s a little dark I go home. It’s scary to walk in the street, all the awful things that happen. There’s a lotta shootings and stealing. Everybody is human, no one is supposed to be hurting other people,”
In response to the city’s uptick in violence, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Springfield will host a prayer vigil and candlelight procession open to the public following the weekly 6 p.m. Mass. on Wednesday, August 23.
Friends, relatives, and neighbors of those affected will be in mourning, but City Councilor Melvin Edwards says the message at the vigil will be that the community is there to support those in need.
“This is the moment when we’re supposed to live up people’s name on prayer,” said Edwards. “This is the time we should be wrapping our arms around these families and letting them know that they’re not alone and that we’re here for them to support them in their moments of unimaginable sadness.”
Springfield Bishop William Byrne, Father Ryan Rooney, and the parish community will be in attendance.