UPDATE @ 5:45 p.m.: The vigil on Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati was “a good healing moment for the entire city to come together,” said Courtney True-Smith, who works in the Huntington Center across the street from the square.
“Even seeing people bring their children, that new life, that young life, just shows how strong and resilient our city is,” she said.
True-Smith recalled seeing an incredible response Thursday morning when lone gunman Omar Enrique Santa-Perez began shooting people in the lobby of the Fifth Third Center.
“It was amazing to see the presence and how quickly they got here and got it under control,” she said. “How quiet the square was after was something you never see downtown. It’s always busy. It was sad and it was scary.”
One of those who addressed the gathering, Pastor Ennis Tate, of First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati, said, “we ask God to regenerate the souls of everyone who works in the downtown area.”
Michael Johnson, United Way of Greater Cincinnati president and CEO, told the gathering, “our support continues to go to this community that we love. We are Cincinnati strong ... and we will continue to take care of each other through this crisis.”
Johnson said he was glad people could take the moment for the city and everyone who was injured or killed, at one point asking everyone attending the vigil to hold hands and hug.
Monday, a blood drive is scheduled to take place on the square, he said.
A vigil will be held Friday afternoon at Cincinnati’s Fountain Square for the victims of the shooting that occurred at the Fifth Third Center Thursday morning.
In wake of the stunning tragedy, the Hoxworth Blood Center is encouraging people to donate blood, state and local leaders offered their condolences to the victims and their families, and the hashtags #CincinnatiStrong and #CincyStrong emerged on Twitter.