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2014-08-14 at 22:49

Silent vigil

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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THUNDER BAY -- Violence in the city must end.

That’s the message sent Thursday evening as hundreds of people filled McGillivray Square in front of city hall for a silent candlelight vigil in response to the city’s sixth homicide of the year on Monday, where eight-year-old Brandi Marie Wingert was the victim in a deadly domestic dispute at a Donald Street residence.

“I came out tonight because we have a lot of violence in Thunder Bay and it’s good that everybody gets together to stop this because we can’t go on,” said Elia Gaspar, who came to the vigil with her sister, niece and best friend.

Gaspar wasn’t surprised at the turnout at Dease Park, where the march to city hall began, as the death of an innocent child has sparked a call for action in regards to violent crime in Thunder Bay.

“We’re not just here for her. We’re here for everybody,” said Gaspar. “We need to step up to the plate, not just our mayor, but as a community we have to say this is enough. Maybe we need more policing, we need more people on the streets to protect us as individuals but we need to do something.”

Although it was great to see the community come together, Gaspar said she wished it was under different circumstances.

“I don’t want to be standing here and doing something because someone died. We want to stand together to stop it and prevent it,” she said.

Dease Park was flooded with people of all ages before Thursday’s march and 10-year-old Destiny Maki wanted to come to tell Brandi that everything is going to be OK.

“She’ll be OK up there,” she said.

“Thunder Bay should be a safe community but with all the killing that’s happening, it’s not really safe,” said Destiny.

Event organizer Rebecca Zajac was overwhelmed and impressed with the turnout at the vigil.

“Thunder Bay is awesome and I know that when push comes to shove we all come together but I wasn’t expecting this big of a response,” she said.

Zajac decided to host the vigil after she heard about the tragic event earlier this week.

“I have a daughter and when I thought about what happened, it was just overwhelming … the sixth death in Thunder Bay in the last eight months. It stops your heart and it makes you sad and it makes you angry and it makes you feel like something’s got to be done,” she said.

“If we all get together as one, we can do anything including stopping the violence.”

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Comments

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Moni says:
I would like to be involved in the safety of our community. If there is any way I can be involved please contact me or if there are any meetings or groups that I can attend that would be great if someone can let me know :)
Tbnewswatch.com

8/15/2014 8:54:52 AM
one girl's opinion says:
Zone Watch - Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2014 Academy Training session! Thunder Bay Police are committed to making community policing work - why not join and help those of us that are already committed to making our community a safer place for everyone!!!
8/15/2014 12:12:09 PM
bttnk says:
Rest in Peace little girl. A terrible tragedy. The truth is, there isn't much anyone can do to stop domestic violence, other then let women know that there is a safe place for them to go if they are dealing with domestic violence. Pack up and find a safe place.
8/15/2014 9:30:03 AM
NFA16 says:
Sadly, unless humanity as a whole changes, violence isn't going to end. The mayor and council can't make Thunder Bay immune to a global problem. Violence is happening everywhere. :(
8/15/2014 10:06:03 AM
Brutus02 says:
Definitely not, but although not in this case, isn't it time to start making the rights of victims trump those of the perpetrators. In addition to tougher laws including capital punishment(i.e. eye for an eye).
8/15/2014 11:22:11 AM
pylon says:
These assaults and murders that happen in Thunder Bay are typically a result of substance abuse. The subject(s) and victims are often known to each other and typically are marginalized individuals. I can't believe that anything will change unless we help these people, however the challenge with that is they have to WANT to change.

I remember a few years ago we had 0 murders in Thunder Bay, what has changed here since then?

I truly hope we can stop what is happening, we pay a lot of money in taxes for people to solve these very complicated problems. And as far as I can tell, they're not getting solved.
8/15/2014 11:33:57 AM
Full Moon Memory Walk says:
My family and other families like ours have been holding a memorial walk in Thunder Bay since 2005. Please come out and join us at City Hall for our 10th Annual FULL MOON MEMORY WALK on September 9th for a flag raising ceremony, then a walk to follow. The memorial walk honours the lives of our Missing/Murdered Women but everyone is welcome to attend. My sisters and I also attended the vigil yesterday because we know all too well the hurt that Brandi's family carries in their hearts. With much LOVE, RESPECT and HEALING to the family, from ours.
8/15/2014 12:14:43 PM
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