PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) - A Phoenix church held a candlelight vigil to honor victims of a pair of deadly mass shootings across the nation over the weekend.

Officials with the First Church United Church of Christ Phoenix said the interfaith candlelight vigil held at their downtown location, 1407 North 2nd Street, Sunday night is in response to the in Texas and Ohio that happened in less than 24 hours.

[WATCH: Phoenix church holds vigil for U.S. mass shootings]

The message Sunday was one calling for change and unity. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego took the podium to speak.

"There is no place for hate in Phoenix. There is no place for hate in Arizona," said Gallego. "...dozens of families had their lives forever shattered.

While it was a peaceful event, leaders said they still had measures to keep people safe at the vigil.

[RELATED: Officials: 20 killed in El Paso shopping center shooting, suspect booked on capital murder charges]

"We have our community public officers that will be here surrounding the space... These are police officers because we've had a pretty good relationship with them," said Senior Pastor at First Church UCC, James Pennington.

[RELATED: Shooter's sister among 9 dead in Dayton, Ohio; 27 others injured]

Pennington said officers usually carry tasers at events. He was not sure if they had guns Sunday at the vigil.

Officials with the church say they are gathering together to collectively mourn the tragedy of all of those directly and indirectly impacted and for the soul of our country.

"The intent of tonight's vigil is to provide a space for Faith and Community Leaders to guide and lend a healing heart during these moments of violence, grief, and shock," church officials said.

 

 


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