About 20 hours after a gunman opened fire at a Long Beach house party, killing three men and injuring nine more people, about 100 unnerved community members gathered to honor the victims and try to make sense of what happened at a vigil Wednesday evening.

Crime-scene tape still marked parts of the quiet Rose Park neighborhood as city officials, neighbors and some who knew the victims gathered at St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church at Seventh Street and Temple Avenue. They stood just a few lots away from where the pandemonium broke loose the night before, at a home near Seventh Street and Ohio Avenue, at around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.

“There is hope,” said Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, who represents the area. “We will heal together.”

The nine suffering from gunshot sounds were in critical-stable to stable condition on Wednesday evening, as police continued to search for the responsible shooter or shooters. Officials have not publicly identified those killed and injured.

One suspect, described as a gunman wearing dark-colored clothing with his face concealed, opened fire from an alley at the backyard Halloween house party. But it was too early to tell whether there could’ve been more suspects involved, police spokeswoman Shaunna Dandoy said.

While investigators believe the act of violence was an isolated incident, those who live in the relatively quiet residential neighborhood were still concerned.

“It’s a different side of the coin for me,” said Rose Park resident and Los Angeles City Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic Damon Lawrence, 56. “Normally I’m the first responder.”

Lawrence said that his wife feels less safe and his neighbors were in shock.

“I’ve seen a lot,” the 30-year paramedic said. “It still affects you, especially when it happens this close to home.”

Long Beach Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, for his part, said that he was “angry” about the shooting and that others should be, too. He urged anyone with information about the shooting to talk to authorities.

Looking forward to Halloween on Thursday, Andrews urged families taking to the streets for trick-or-treating to “walk the streets with no fear.”

Religious and community leaders also gave assurance to vigil attendees, including a prayer led by a Buddhist monk that began the vigil. Members of the Cambodian community and others quickly came together after the shooting, according to Pearce.

It seemed that many in the community didn’t want this tragic incident to define the neighborhood, but to heal and move forward from it.

“If you know this event had some effect on somebody, please reach out,” said Gretchen Swanson of the Rose Park Neighborhood Association. “That is what makes (a) neighborhood.”





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