LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A huge crowd gathered at Greater Peaceful Zion Baptist Church Wednesday evening, sharing prayers, hugs, and candles lit for 6-year-old Kingston Campbell.
He was killed on the night of May 1 when a group of gunmen fired into his home on Floyd Street.
“I think what resounded throughout the whole thing was family. We’ve got to come together as a unit, we’ve got to stand up and take back our community,” said James Clement, who attended the vigil with Faith Street.
People chanted the words “Family”, “Kingston”, and “This ends here.”
“If this does not provoke folks to take some action and come forward, I don’t know what will,” said Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema.
Speakers, like the Chief, Mayor Stephanie Reed, and several religious leaders, emphasized community and family, but another theme that dominated the vigil was the need for answers.
Chief Zuidema and the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Lynchburg, Bethany Harrison, both pressed that people need to come forward.
“We’re not looking at the individual who goes and steals a pack of gum from Walmart, we’re talking about people that are committing violent acts, oftentimes with illegal firearms, oftentimes as part of being in a gang,” said the Chief. “We’re going to go after those people with every ounce of what we have to ensure they’re prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and they’re removed from our community.”
He said they’ve already increased police presence in Diamond Hill, a neighborhood that’s experienced the loss of three children in the past few months.
“One way we help [Kingston’s mother] heal is we find, identify, arrest, and prosecute the individuals responsible for this,” said the Chief.
Harrison also made it clear that she believes prosecution is the way forward.
“Come to court and testify about it,” she said, addressing people who may know anything about who killed Kingston. “If you’re fed up seeing these headlines, you’re fed up of having vigils like this, and shedding tears for the loss of young, innocent life, I implore you to do something, to get involved.”