COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Church and community leaders held a prayer service Tuesday night on the East Side after the shooting death of Tyre King, 13, who died last week after he was shot by Columbus police.
The pastors and community members at the vigil said it was a chance to get together and pray for healing from the violence, but also to talk about solutions moving forward.
Tonisha and Rikkia Elder came out to join in the prayers. The sisters, who grew up on the East Side but now live on the South Side, said they knew Tyre King through his football team, the Columbus Day Stars.
“It really crushed me. It was heartbreaking,” Rikkia Elder said. “He’s not a bad kid. No child deserves what happened to him.”
Pastor Johnny Amos of Shiloh Christian Center was among those who led the service. He’s lost a brother and a nephew to gun violence himself.
“Whenever anybody gets shot or killed, it hurts and what the city needs is healing right now,” Amos said.
People there were quick to point out they are not against police, but they want answers.
Terry Clark, a former longtime resident of Columbus who now lives in Charlotte, said he came to the vigil to show support while he was in Columbus on a business trip.
“What the community wants is accountability and we don’t seem to be getting that today,” Clark said.
The service focused on healing and solutions, from community involvement to churches.
“One of the things I want to encourage us today is we cannot lose heart in the midst of the injustice, in the midst of the violence,” one pastor said.
Tonisha Elder said she wanted to see others get more involved in the community, from helping out with Little League to volunteering in the schools.
“It could be any of our sons,” Tonisha Elder said. “I have two boys, I have cousins, nephews. It could be any of our sons.”