SEBRING, Fla. — More than 400 people came out to a touching vigil held Sunday to honor the lives of five women killed in the Midtown SunTrust bank in Sebring.
The vigil included gospel singers, and somewhat of a sermon from Tim Williams, who is the brother-in-law of one of the victims, Ana Pinon-Williams. He told the crowd to rid their hearts of darkness.
- Highlands News-Sun Center packed for Sebring vigil
- 2 other remembrances held earlier Sunday in Sebring
"Until we understand that we each much deal with our darkness and allow the light to shine in our own hearts, we will never effectively change anything in this nation or in this city, it must come from within," said Tim Williams.
The vigil was held in the Highlands News Sun Center.
Sebring Police Chief Karl Hogland and Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman also spoke during the vigil.
A friend of one of the victims, who also works at a bank, said she won’t live in fear.
"I don’t think this community is going to let this shake them. We’re going to stand stronger than we ever have before," said Kim Bronstein.
Tina Warner spoke beforehand about losing her daughter, Jessica Montague, in the mass shooting.
"I’m sad but you know what, my daughter will always live through me and I pray that everybody out there will have faith in God and be stronger in their faith," said Tina Warner.
She said Jessica’s infectious smile will always stay with her.
"She would light anybody life up," Warner said. "She was an amazing mom, wife, daughter. She was my best friend. Not just my daughter, my best friend and she leaves behind three little children and her step children."
Warner said she was amazed by the amount of people who came out to the vigil and said she can’t thank the community enough for its support.
The first vigil was held Sunday afternoon at the Highlands County Courthouse, followed by a prayer vigil held at the courthouse steps.
A spokeswoman for SunTrust says the branch will not reopen. SunTrust is exploring options for the best use of the property.
The memorial service for Jessica Montague is set for Sat., Feb. 2, at 5 pm at Grace Bible Church in Sebring.
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