Candlelight vigil to remember Pass Christian shooting victims
By Caray Grace| February 10, 2016 at 1:54 AM CST - Updated July 25 at 12:40 AM
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX)
It was a somber end to Fat Tuesday as dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember the lives of the two men shot and killed after the Sunday's Pass Christian Mardi Gras parade.
The parking lot of Blue Envy night club in Gulfport was transformed into a gathering place for loved ones to mourn the loss of two men who witnesses say were innocent bystanders.
"We were walking, talking about that and in the midst of our conversation, gunshots. I turned around and my brother on the ground," said Akeem Smith, friend of Carlos Bates.
Smith grew up with Carlos and described the past couple days as life changing. Despite the deaths, he's thankful the community cared enough about the victims and their families to attend the vigil hosted by the owners of Blue Envy night club.
"They could have been anywhere else in the world, you know what I'm saying, but they decided to be here. You gotta appreciate that and I salute them for all the love that's been shown and support for the tragedy that happened in the Pass," said Smith.
Some of those in attendance didn't know Carlos or Isaiah. They simply wanted to show their support for bringing unity to the Gulf Coast community.
"I'm just troubled by the killings. Just everybody troubled in general, you know, like they can't turn it around and we can and we are," said Nakisha White.
Akeem Smith says he's heard the call to stop senseless violence before. He hopes that this time, the call will actually be heard.
"I hope that we stop losing our young black men and women, and things of that nature. Hope they finally figure it out, because we killing us. We killing us," said Smith.
On Friday, Blue Envy and Club Illusions plan to partner up for a fish fry at the four corners in Gulfport. All the proceeds will go to the victim's families.