Local families who lost loved ones to gun violence express sadness

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

Dozens of candles lit up photographs of the faces of the Sandy Hook victims, six adults and 20 young children, some of them shot up to 11 times.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

On Monday local families who lost loved ones to gun violence expressed their sadness and even frustration that there is not more that they can do to comfort the families in Connecticut.

They believe that vigils let the world know that their city's heart is broken, too.

Dozens of candles lit up photographs of the faces of the Sandy Hook victims, six adults and 20 young children, some of them shot up to 11 times.

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"I just want to be here in support of them. Just let them know that we're here for them, we're praying for them, we're thinking about them," said Jackie McGill.

The candles were placed on the front steps of police headquarters.

The heart-wrenching images brought some people to tears.

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Sgt. Ricky Robbins helped form Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's Homicide Support Group three years ago, a place where family and friends of homicide victims can share stories and grieve.

"To know that you left your child and you may not have said, 'I love you' when you left home, you may not have hugged them, it's something that hurts you for the rest of your life," said Robbins.

But he never thought he would have to organize an event like this.

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McGill's teenage son, Jaron, was killed three years ago in a drive-by shooting. No one has been arrested in connection to his death.

She said on Monday night that her heart is broken all over again.

"It's a part of you that's gone. And you think about it every day. Your loved one is just always there in your heart," said McGill.

CMPD's Homicide Support Group meets the first Tuesday of every month at police headquarters at 6:30 p.m.

There will not be a meeting next month because it is New Year's Day.

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