On Tuesday, as a result of a firecracker, which was mistaken for a shooting, those present rushed to run for their cars. But the Save Our Community leader said that did not weaken the purpose of the vigil.

TOLEDO, Ohio – Family, friends and loved ones mourned and celebrated the life of Deasia Green during vigil tuesdayin the same north Toledo alley where her body was found just a day earlier, a gunshot-like explosion interrupted the proceedings and sent onlookers scrambling.

Police later confirmed to WTOL 11 that the explosion was a firecracker explosion.

For her parents and other family members, the vigil was a moment of catharsis and a first step toward recovery.

Although the vigil may have been interrupted, tears of gratitude flowed from DeAsia’s mother, Theoria Hill, as she thanked those in attendance for their condolences and support.

“I really appreciate you all, it means everything to me, and De’Asia will thank you too because she loved her friends and family,” Hill said.

Soon the firecracker went off. Regardless of the length of the vigil, its purpose to honor the Start High School freshman has not been weakened, said Rescue Our Community Commissioner David Bush.

“It’s just something that’s ingrained in our community to celebrate life or mourn life because these families need to know they’re seen and heard in their time of loss,” he said.

Bush said it is vital that the support of Deasia’s loved ones remains steadfast long after her life is cut short.

“These families need to know that we are with them,” he said. “We want people to lay down their guns, we want to mediate conflict in other ways, and that’s something (Save Our Community) will always play a role in.”

As the city of Toledo’s anti-violence intervention program, Save Our Community is an extension of the Glass City’s support for those grieving the loss of young people to violence, as well as a symbol of efforts to prevent more deaths, Bush said.

Bush said the continued success of the Save Our Community program has attracted the attention of outside parties. The Cleveland group will follow the Toledo team in the future, he said.


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