Rochester community remembers those who have died in all-city vigil

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester community members gathered Sunday in Bear Creek Park to honor the lives of their recently passed loved ones. One speaker was the mother of JR Banks — who lost his life to gun violence in June of 2021 in downtown Rochester.

"He is my angel – my son. He is a brother, a daddy, a cousin, an uncle, a nephew, a friend," said Niecy Bryant, JR’s mother.

Also in attendance was the mother of Mercedez Rocha — whose body was found at Gage Elementary School in Rochester after being reported missing in January.

People spoke out against gun violence and highlighted the need for better homeless services in Rochester. They encourage people to band together and let them know they’re not alone in grief.

"Just because there are locations for them to be, is that really a place they can be? Is it a place that’s enough? Is what we’re doing enough? And this shows us that what we’re doing is not enough," event organizer CarolAnn Marie said of homeless resources.

The event ended with the group releasing balloons into the sky in honor of those who died. The Ministry of Good Works and Yammy Bear and Family put together the vigil.