A torch burned outside St. Viator Catholic Community church Thursday night, as dozens of the attendees inside knelt in front of an altar and placed a candle while the church choir sang in the background.
More than a hundred people sat quietly inside the church for a community prayer honoring those affected by the Wednesday shooting at UNLV.
Nineteen-year-old UNLV student Reagan Samson, who was in her dorm room at the time of the shooting, was one of the first people to place a candle.
“This is something that only community can help and having people around you,” she said. “It’s not something that happened and people are gonna just get over.”
Samson said she was supposed to have a class inside Beam Hall that would have let out at the time the shooting started, but her professor had canceled it.
She said she and her roommate barricaded inside the room after the announcement of an active shooter. They waited inside the room until they were ushered out with their hands up by SWAT officers.
Samson’s mother, Jody Lenzie, said the service was important. “I think it just needs to be done so that we have a little bit of peace in our life,” Lenzie said, “and we can actually start to recover from all of this.”