Valley Community Comes Together For Charleston Church Vigil

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Less than 24 hours after a gunman took the lives of nine people in a Charleston church, a community came together to pray and remember the lives lost.

"What happened last night represents a major tragedy," said Reverend Edward Scott of Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. "Particularly and specifically for our church but much more generally for our whole nation."

James Moore is not a member of the AME church, but still went to the vigil.

"I felt it was the right thing to do," said Moore.

While police have not yet released a motive, the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

"I still believe that America's original sin is racism and slavery and I content that it is a nightmare from which we must awaken," said Reverend Scott.

In order to prevent future tragedy, Reverend Scott says that it may be time for Congress to rethink the limits of the second amendment.

"Gun violence is a horrific thing in America, and it's too often visited upon communities that are innocent," said Reverend Scott. "Too many of us are the victims of hate crime at the end of a smoking gun and something has to happen."

Scott is hoping, out of this tragedy, there can be lasting change.