FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – People waited patiently to enter the gym at the United Methodist Church in downtown Florence.
The line was out the door. Families from across the Shoals gathered to celebrate the life of their loved ones who were victims of a homicide.
Among the crowd was Kami Dale. Her older brother Brioni Rutland was a victim of a homicide in 2013.
“I’m here for justice for my brother Brioni Rutland. He was killed in November,” said Dale.
Every year, the organization “Victims of Crime and Leniency” put on a candlelight vigil and a celebration of light event.
This year, the event brought together resources to help the families of homicide victims.
President Denny Kimbrel says there’s only one main purpose behind this event.
“It’s about victims coming together. And remembering their loved ones. And sharing the friendship that we’ve made through the years,” said Kimbrel.
Kimbrel says the families create a strong bond.
“As they go through the court system we become more than friends almost like family. We don’t choose to be the victims,” said Kimbrel.
Victims like Dale, who says she is just now coping with the death of her brother.
“It’s going to harder then it’s going to get easier. It just takes time,” said Dale.
A process which only time can heal.