BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – On Wednesday, a group of people came together on the steps of First Presbyterian Church in downtown Birmingham. It was 6:30 p.m. — almost the exact time one week prior that shots rang out just a few blocks away.
“We were shocked and upset by the shooting last Wednesday night,” said Kat Goodrich, associate pastor of First Presbyterian, “and we know that as a downtown church, this was on our doorstep, so we needed to respond.”
Faith leaders came together over the week to plan a way to “make a witness” for peace in the city, but to also call on the city to invest in strategies to do more to prevent gun violence from happening.
“There is a network of churches who believe that our faith should be in action,” said Carmone Owens of 6th Avenue Baptist Church. “The churches and other groups and other religious institutions should be involved in solving the problems that our city faces and affect everybody–regardless of race, demographics or economics.”
The group walked while singing from the church to the spot where they believe Ofc. Cullen Stafford was shot. They prayed for him and his family. While grieving the acts that he committed, the group also prayed for the suspect, Roderick Wilson, and his loved ones.
“Because of love of God, love of people, love of community,” said Owens. “Concern for what is happening in our city. Concern for the victims. Concerned for those who commit the crimes. Concern for our officers.”