Vigil held in Alexandria for the victims of violent crime

Homicide Victim Vigil
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 2:30 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - On Sunday, Sept. 25, a vigil was held outside the Rapides Parish Courthouse for victims of homicide in the area.

Sept. 25 is recognized around the country as the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims and was officially recognized by congress in 2007.

Dozens of family members who have lost a loved one attended the event to pray and say the victims’ names. This year was the largest - and the number of victims continues to grow - with 15 people already murdered this year in Alexandria.

Stephanie Belgard, the mother of Courtney Coco, who was murdered in 2004, organized the event to keep the memory of the victims alive.

”Courtney will always be my daughter, and when people ask me how many children I have I say I have three daughters, not two that are living and one that’s deceased, I have three daughters,” said Belgard to the crowd. “So, you just have to keep them active in your life whether they’re here or not.”

Undreka Spearman, the mother of Lentavius Hall - who was shot and killed in February of 2021- said it is nice to have such a large support group of families who have gone through a similar situation as her, but it’s concerning that the group keeps adding members.

“Loving in a sense, you get to actually be around other people that feel the way you feel that can understand how you feel, it’s comforting,” said Spearman.

At the event, the names of 50 victims were read, each getting a prayer from the crowd.

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