Students, faculty, and religious leaders attended a vigil last night for the three University of Maryland students involved in an early morning, off-campus shooting Tuesday. More than 300 people came together inside the University's Memorial Chapel to grieve and offer support.
"We gather this night, in the midst of our differences, united by our grief over the tragic deaths of University of Maryland students," said Rev. Holly Ulmer from the university's United Campus Ministry, who led the vigil.
Dayvon Green, a graduate engineering student, allegedly shot 22-year old Stephen Alex Rane and another unidentified student after the pair confronted Green about fires he had set in the house the three of them shared. Rane later died. The unnamed student is expected to survive.
The mood of the vigil demonstrated the overwhelming impact that shooting has had on this campus. Sophomore Alexis Saunders didn't know the two who died, or the student who survived but she came anyway.
"I think it's important that we come together as a community and as a student body to be here for the friends of those students as well as for the families of those students," she said.
It was different, and more personal, for junior Madeline Wilson, who knew one of the victims.
"It's just difficult. It's hard to believe I mean with all the other shootings going on, to know that it happened so close and to somebody that I knew," she said.
During the vigil, University President Wallace Loh tried to comfort the students, many of whom cried and hugged one another.
"We must come together as a community, then we will have an opportunity to move forward, and make sure that this kind of senseless violence never ever happens again," he said.
Students finished the vigil by lighting candles in the garden outside the chapel.