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Community, students gather for vigil at local church

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Students place candles in a wood cross as a show of support for the victims of the incident on Monday morning. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Lantern Reporter

Students place candles in a wood cross as a show of support for the victims of the incident on Monday morning. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Lantern Reporter

Students and community members gathered Monday night for a prayer vigil at Jacob’s Porch, a Lutheran campus ministry. The group met for an evening of prayer and worship following a knife attack on Ohio State’s campus Monday morning that hospitalized 11 bystanders — one faculty member, one staff member and at least three students — and left the suspect dead.

Laura Ferree, a seminary student at Jacob’s Porch, opened the vigil with a promise that the church building will be kept open as “a sacred space for students to pray and be together.”

During the hourlong vigil, pastors and musicians led the group in worship songs, readings from the Bible and prayer. The group also held a candle-lighting ceremony, in which members were invited to light a candle and place it in a hollow wood cross to symbolize how their hope in God can be a light to the world.

Michael DePiero, a first-year in civil engineering who attends church at Jacob’s Porch, attended the vigil to share support with his fellow students. DiPiero was in a calculus lecture in a building on 18th Avenue when he and his classmates got a Buckeye Alert message warning students of an active shooter.

“We all just kind of freaked out and knew there was nothing we could really do,” DePiero said. “It’s one of those things you hear about, but you never actually think will happen.”

Chris Tavenor, a student in the Moritz College of Law, and his wife, Kim, previously attended Jacob’s Porch for church services as undergraduates, and came to the vigil to help others process the events of the day.

“It’s a community we know has our back at all time, so we wanted to be here for others, have others be there for us –– to kind of process together, understand what’s happening and how these things can happen,” Kim Tavenor said.

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