Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are in Raleigh, North Carolina, ministering to residents following a mass shooting in a residential area last week that left five dead.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, a 15-year-old boy shot and killed five people, including an off-duty police officer, on a walking trail in the Raleigh-based Hedingham neighborhood on Oct. 13.
The chaplains spoke and prayed with local residents who were affected by the shooting at the Hedingham Community Pool, according to The Christian Post.
“What an incredibly terrifying situation. My heart is heavy to hear about this tragic mass shooting,” Billy Graham Rapid Response Team international director Josh Holland said in a statement.
“[Our chaplains were deployed] to comfort people, listen and cry with them, pray with them, and share God’s love with those who have been impacted by this horrific tragedy.”
“If we can get it out of their heart and out of their mouth, then they can get it out of their mind, and then that can help them start healing,” Jennifer Metallo, a BGEA chaplain coordinator, told WNCN.
Several local churches held services and vigils on Sunday to bring people hope amid last week’s tragedy.
“I believe there’s comfort both ways,” Pastor Tim Rabon of Beacon Baptist Church told WNCN. “No. 1, there’s comfort vertically, from God himself, and then God puts us in community, and that’s really what church is,” he added.
“We just want to care for our neighbors. I don’t have a big agenda except to just let our neighbors be loved,” Pastor Dan Rothra of First Alliance Church said, according to The News & Observer.
Hedingham residents also erected a temporary memorial to the victims in the neighborhood, including five crosses and a photo of each person killed by the shooter.
The suspect, who was arrested and later hospitalized in critical condition, has not yet been publicly named by authorities. Meanwhile, prosecutors are considering whether he should be tried as an adult.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Melissa Sue Gerrits/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.