HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Emotions ran high as more than 600 people gathered by the Huntington Beach pier Sunday night to honor all of the Las Vegas shooting victims.
They remembered loved ones, sang songs together and even exchanged hugs. Some people marched down the pier by candlelight.
Tiffany Katsaris showed up on crutches. She was shot twice in the deadly attack and told KCAL9/CBS2’s Robert Gray that she has mostly stayed at home while waiting for surgery to remove shrapnel.
“It was like you were in war but you had nothing to defend yourself and I feel bad for all the people who lost their lives. I was lucky to get out,” said Katsaris.
Stacy Massey helped organize the vigil, handing orange and purple ribbons out to survivors. Massey said she hopes the event was therapeutic.
“We had survivors who walked on the plaza and walked off. They just couldn’t be here in the crowd,” said Massey. “And then there were others who wanted to read their loved ones name because they lost the person at the event or they couldn’t read somebody’s name. All the needs of the people here were different.”
Several survivors said that being at the vigil helped them come to grips with their emotions.
“Being around all the other people who understood and were there and experienced it and have that love and compassion and that connection that no one else will,” said Las Vegas shooting survivor Heather Dumitru. “Random strangers are hugging you and you’re full of love and support.”
“I haven’t really left the house that much. This is my first big crowd experience since getting out,” said Las Vegas shooting survivor Ashley Santa. “It’s just really great to see everyone coming together.”