"I think it affected the whole community because we were so shocked," grief counselor Linda Richardson said. "So it was pretty devastating to think anything like this could happen inside our community. I think everyone felt it much stronger than they expected to."
Richardson lives in the same Lochmere Community as Cooper, and says the effect Cooper's death had on Cary compelled her to organize Thursday's grief session.
"We had just been so devastated as a community and particularly in Lochmere with the death of Nancy Cooper that we felt it appropriate to invite her friends, and family and anyone who would like to attend," Richardson said.
Church leaders want the night of music, shared faith and comradely; to bring peace and hope to cooper's friends and others coping with the loss of a loved one.
"Hope is for the resolution of justice and Hope is for the comfort of the distressed and hope is for the restoration of the broken," senior pastor Tom Hollis said. "All things will be revealed. I think there will be justice, I think the perpetrator of this will be identified and this will come to pass there will be that resolution."
Cooper's immediate family is back in Canada coping with the loss of their daughter and sister. They have temporary custody of Nancy and her husband Brad's two young children. Brad Cooper did not attend the event.