BRIGHTON, Ala. (WIAT) — Leaders in the Brighton community organized a large event Tuesday evening, to unite citizens less than two weeks after a shooting killed one person and injured several others at a previous community event.
The Friendship Missionary Baptist Church was packed for the “We Believe in Brighton” event.
Pastor Charles Hollingsworth, Alabama Representative Merika Coleman and several other community leaders delivered uplifting messages to the crowd, while food was served and children played outside in bounce houses.
Coleman said that this event was planned in direct response to the tragedy on August 27th, when several people were shot just as a similar event called “Love Thy Neighbor” was wrapping up at Brighton park.
“We wanted an opportunity for people to come back together and say that someone tried to take the love out of the ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ day, and we’re putting it back,” Coleman said. “We all believe in Brighton. We know that it’s a great place to live, a great place to raise a family, so we’re just getting back together so we can move forward as a community.”
Hollingsworth said that over the past week and a half, several parents told him that their children were afraid to go outside or attend school.
“I do know that it’s going to take time, but hopefully — preferably, we will have some individuals here who can encourage our children in particular, to let them know that they don’t have to live in fear,” Hollingsworth said.
Counselors were available to provide help for people who needed it.