Community members come together for a vigil following Wednesday’s deadly mass shooting at a south Florida high school.
Several religious, community, and state leaders spoke to the crowd of about 800 people at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs.
They then released 17 balloons into the air to remember the victims as people bowed their heads, prayed, cried and linked arms to express sadness and solidarity.
Governor Rick Scott addressed the crowd and said only a prayer, asking god to comfort the victims.
“Give us courage and wisdom to use this tragedy to come together to comfort all the families who have lost their loved ones,” Governor Scott said. “Please take care of all the individuals still in our hospitals recovering. Please help all the students, the teachers, and everyone that were impacted at the school that will be haunted by this tragedy. As leaders, give us the courage and the wisdom to make good decisions to make sure every child in this state is able to go to a safe and productive school."
Officials said 17 people died and 14 others were injured when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in parkland.
Cruz was later arrested in Coral Springs and has since been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
A motive behind the shooting spree remains unclear, but investigators say Cruz was expelled from the school last year for disciplinary reasons.