Vigil honors record 213 Milwaukee County homicide victims

A candlelight vigil Wednesday, Dec. 30 honored the 189 homicide victims in Milwaukee and record 213 in Milwaukee County in 2020.

"Today, we’re going to basically be saying goodbye to the individuals who were murdered in the city of Milwaukee," said Tony Kearney.

Candles were lit for brothers, mothers, cousins, sisters and friends killed in 2020.

"Oh my God, he was everything to us," said Lafaysha Drew.

Drew’s older brother, Levelle, was killed in August. 

"He was such a good person," said Drew. "Fun-loving. Everybody loved this guy." 

She came to the vigil to support other families with hurting hearts.

"Somehow, someway, you can find peace in your loss," said Drew.

Milwaukee has seen an unprecedented level of gun violence in 2020. The names of the 189 people killed in Milwaukee were read one by one during the service.

"This is something that we all have to be committed and concerned about," said Reggie Moore, director of the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention. "We have to treat this with the same level of urgency and focus as we did the COVID-19 pandemic because this pandemic, in terms of gun violence, is killing our people at an alarming rate." 

Mourners bowed their heads in prayer, hoping fewer families feel their pain in 2021. 

"I hope we can continue to find peace one day at a time and touch the hearts of others," said Drew.