Update, July 20, 5:45 p.m.: There are now two vigils planned for the victims of the Aurora Century 16 theater shooting. One, at 7 p.m. tonight, is being hosted by local clergy members, according to Aurora Representative Rhonda Fields, who announced this morning that she'd be hosting a vigil tonight. Fields says she has now stepped away from the lead role and is coordinating with the city of Aurora to hold a second vigil on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Tonight's vigil is slated to take place outside Kaiser Permanente, 14701 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora, which is close to where the shooting occurred.
"Clergy is saying they don't want to wait two days to pray," Fields says. "So I am going to support their vigil by being out there. ... But I'm not in the lead position of this event."
Fields says she'll also support the city's vigil on Sunday. "The city of Aurora wanted to make sure they did something that would properly honor the victims," she adds. "So I agree with them and I support their efforts and I don't want to be not in sync with what the city wants to do." Fields says city officials told her that they're "not in a position" to host a vigil tonight and asked that one be held on Sunday instead.
Original post, July 20, 11:30 a.m.: Aurora Representative Rhonda Fields will host a prayer vigil tonight at 7 p.m. at the Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 East Alameda Parkway, for the victims of the Century 16 theater shooting. "I'm a survivor of murder," says Fields. Her son, Javad, was killed in 2005 just before he was set to testify at a murder trial. "The only thing that sustained me and kept me lifted was prayer. I'm a woman of faith and that's all I know how to do, is pray."
According to Fields, she first heard about the shooting at 2:30 this morning when she received a phone call from a constituent, who was "very upset.... I right away turned on the news, and I was just horrified and saddened by the number of people who died for just going to see Batman, and how calculating he was and deliberate he was in his intent to harm. I just can't understand it."
Fields says she's concerned about gun violence. Both Aurora and Denver have seen several shootings this summer, prompting concerns that the metro area is headed toward another "Summer of Violence." Fields says: "I serve in the State House and while I was down there, we had people run all kinds of gun bills, making more access to guns. I oppose those kinds of things because I've seen the harm when guns are put in the hands of the wrong people.
"No person should be killed with a gun."
A search of the Colorado General Assembly bill tracker reveals several gun-related bills, including House Bill 1092, which would have allowed anyone over the age of 21 who is legally able to own a handgun to carry it concealed without a permit. It did not pass.
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