“This is our moment for healing. We all stand here, we all sit here as a school, as a community.”
UCSB students gathered for a candlelight vigil on Saturday, May 24 2014
Photo Credit: University of California Santa Barbara
The Isla Vista community in Santa Barbara has come together after the shooting rampage last week that took the lives of six students and injured 13 other people. Memorial shrines with flowers, messages, candles and photos were placed at the scenes where the violence was perpetrated, according to UCSB’s student newspaper, The Bottom Line. A candlelight vigil was held at the school on Saturday, May 24.
At the vigil, alumni and students took turns speaking to the crowd. “Words do not exist for me to express just how saddened we are for what happened last night in Isla Vista,” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said. “The entire UC Santa Barbara community and our Santa Barbara community is in mourning.”
Another speaker spoke to the resilience of the UCSB community, “This is our moment for healing. We all stand here, we all sit here as a school, as a community.”
Local law enforcement has been widely lauded for their quick response and for preventing further injury during the shooting. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown has expressed his condolences to the victims, saying he wanted to “let the families of the victims know that our hearts go out to them at this tragic time.”
Neighboring Goleta Mayor Michael T. Bennett released a public statement, according to local news outlet KSBY, saying, “The City of Goleta has offered and will continue to provide assistance to law enforcement, the University, and the County as they process this incident and provide support to those affected. Let's keep the community in our prayers as we deal with this horrific situation.”
Several other college campuses have held vigils in solidarity with UCSB. Students have taken to Facebook to express their condolences and to condemn the shooter’s actions and a Twitter hashtag, #YesAllWomen, was also created in response to the shooter’s targeting of women.
Even after this horrendous episode, the Isla Vista community continues to show it will stand together against violence.