Wichita community honors lives lost in weekend mass shootings, demand action

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

For Devante Garcia, enough is enough. He says the news of a gunman opening fire at an El Paso shopping center last weekend hit especially close to home. 

"It was beyond terrifying. My family in El Paso. My uncle in particular, my cousins, love going to the mall and are always in the area that the shooting occurred in," he says. 

Relief flooded Garcia when he realized his family was okay, but just hours later, his emotions were set off again with news of yet another mass shooting. 

"I'm angry. Really, really angry," says Garcia. 

Garcia is a volunteer with Sunflower Community Action. The group held a vigil Wednesday night for the 32 lives lost in last weekend's shootings. They hope to send a clear message.

"We need to come together and stand up for those people," says Sarahi Aguilera with Sunflower Community Action.

Other groups, like Mom's Demand Action, are also stepping up. Shannon Halbur was in Washington D.C. at a Mom's Demand Action convention when news broke of the shootings. 

"We decided to go to the White House and put the message out there that we want some sensible gun laws passed...Just to let them know that we're here, and we're not going away," she says. 

Both Halbur and Sunflower Community Action say they aren't going away. They plan to continue to contact state leaders for change. 

"I can tell you that as a State Senator, it makes a difference. Every single person's voice has power. It is listened to," says State Senator, Mary Ware.

For information on how to contact your local leaders, click here.

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