Gathering Honors Murder Victims at Yakima Moneytree [VIDEO, PHOTOS]
The sunshine felt oddly out of place Tuesday afternoon as it warmed the corner of South First and East Walnut streets in Yakima, and a gusty breeze was not enough to dry the tears shed for the tragic loss of two young lives.
The location is where two young mothers, both Moneytree employees, were brutally shot and killed early Saturday morning. Today about 100 concerned Yakima residents, friends, co-workers and family members of 27-year-old Karina Morales-Rodriguez and 30-year-old Marta Martinez gathered for a moment of blessing and to reclaim the ground in a ceremony of peace and love.
The Rev. Cheryl Rohret led the gathering on behalf of the Yakima Association of Churches and Faith Communities in prayer, Scripture, responsive readings and in a blessing of water and reclamation ritual.
"We come together this day to reclaim this space of death as a place of life," Rohret said. "This place where violence occurred we are reclaiming as a place of life ... this place that causes us fear, anger and pain, we are reclaiming as a place of hope and community."
Laura Curiel, one of the organizers of the memorial, told KIT's Lance Tormey about the good she hopes will come from this act of evil.
The suspect in the shooting is 26-year-old Manuel Enrique Verduzco of Selah, who was caught without incident less than 12 hours after the crime. He's being held on $1 million bail as the investigation continues.