Crowd flocks to Durham for Orlando shootings vigil

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Durham vigil for Orlando
Nearly a thousand people gather to remember the Orlando shooting victims.

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A crowd gathered Tuesday night in Durham for a vigil to remember the Orlando shooting victims.

Durham police blocked off Rigsbee Avenue at W Corporation from about 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for the event. Officers said they were anticipating almost 1,000 people to be in attendance, and about that many showed up.

A crowd gathers for the vigil in Durham on Tuesday.
Angelica Alvarez

The event was hosted by The Bar and the LGBTQ Center of Durham, with events in both English and Spanish.

WATCH: ABC11's Joel Brown reports from Orlando on Tuesday night

Joel Brown reports live from Orlando on Tuesday evening.

"I wish we did not have to be here," said Helena Cragg of the LGBTQ Center of Durham. "Gay bars have always been our safe harbor."

Renee Batchelor is the owner of The Bar. She says soon after she heard about the shootings, she thought of those lost, and of those who walk through The Bar's doors every day.

"The first thing that went through my head is that could have been us on any given day," Batchelor said.

So as she figures out how to beef up security, the names of those lost in Orlando now hang in the entrance of The Bar, to be remembered and honored by all those here Tuesday night.

The names of the victims adorn the wall at the entrance to The Bar in Durham.
Angelica Alvarez

State Senators Mike Woodard and Floyd McKissick were also in attendance, showing their support.

The Town of Chapel Hill also held a "Community Gathering of Solidarity" on Tuesday at the Carrboro Town Commons.

"The event will allow us to grieve, to lift one another up and to demonstrate that we are, indeed, stronger when we stand together," Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said Monday.

Sandhills Pride held a candlelight vigil Tuesday as well at Pinehurst Village Green.

WATCH: Vigil and service held Monday in Raleigh

Several hundred gathered for a vigil in Raleigh on Monday.

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