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Vigils across St. Louis area honor victims of Central VPA school shooting

A candlelight vigil and balloon release is planned for Wednesday at Central VPA High School, the site of Monday's school shooting.

ST. LOUIS — People who live in and around St. Louis continue to pause and pay their respects for victims of Monday’s mass shooting at Central Visual Performing Arts High School.

A balloon release and candlelight vigil is planned for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Central VPA High School, and another is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.

Just hours after the shooting occurred Monday, students, parents and community leaders mourned and demanded change at a candlelight vigil in Tower Grove Park.

"I feel like they definitely are going to need more security at the school if they want us to come back," student Alex Macias said Monday night at the vigil. "There's already people who are talking about not wanting to come back and their parents not wanting them to come back.”

An interfaith vigil took place Tuesday night at Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist church in north St. Louis. Organizers called the event a gun safety initiative.

Over a hundred community members from various faiths gathered to mourn the more than 100 children who lost their lives to gun violence in the St. Louis area over the last four years. Some died in violent situations. Others got their hands on an adult’s gun and accidentally shot and killed themselves.

At Tuesday night's gathering, Rev. Maurice McDaniel of Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church said, “We are not only here to mourn but to take action. We know that the faith community along cannot stop gun violence, but we can take some steps to help keep our children safe.”

Thursday, there will be a prayer vigil at 6:30 p.m. The gathering will be held at the St. Louis Activity Center at 5602 Arsenal Street, St Louis, MO 63139. Kingdom Destiny Fellowship International (KDFI) is hosting the vigil and asks that area church and community leaders attend the inter-faith prayer vigil.

Friday at 7 p.m., Central VPA alumni are organizing a remembrance ceremony for Alexandria Bell and Jean Kuczka at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. 

If you attend, you're asked to wear black and gold. Organizers also ask that you bring candles and black and gold balloons. Organizers said there will also be a virtual ceremony. The event is open to the public. 

RELATED: Resources for those affected by the St. Louis school shooting

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