Prayer vigil held for Patton park shooting victims


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Monday, a prayer vigil was held in Patton Park for the victims of a deadly Easter shooting.

Roughly a dozen community leaders spoke passionately about gun violence in Birmingham. City councilors, local pastors, and neighborhood presidents prayed and pressed for change.

“Don’t be the punk that don’t tell! Tell,” said Dwayne Thompson with New Vision Christian Church. “And be the real person and stand up!”

A 32-year-old woman was killed when gunfire erupted at Patton Park. Police believe Areyell Yarbrough was an innocent bystander.

“For me, it’s time for us as people to quit being the ride or die kind of people,” said Rev. Van Johnson; Colleagues with Yarbough’s father. “And what I mean is: we have accepted this culture where we don’t say anything, and we don’t do anything.”

There are no suspects in custody. Police are pleading with the public to come forward with any information. Roughly $13,000 has been raised as a reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Five others were injured in the shooting, ranging in age from 4 to 21. 4-year-old Justice Holness was one of those victims. His mother said the bullet hit both of his lungs.

“It will not be tolerated! I will not stand for it,” said John Hillard with Birmingham City Council. “We must all work together. It’s all of our responsibilities to make a difference.”

If you have information on this case, you’re asked to call CrimeStoppers at 205-254-7777.

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