Rochester Hills community united after mass shooting

ROCHESTER HILLS, Michigan. – In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, neighbors often exchange simple pleasantries and go about their daily lives. But in times of tragedy, words are simply not enough.

Rochester Hills community stands together after tragedy at Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad.

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They gathered on Sunday evening within sight of the square, which has now been cordoned off and surrounded by police tape.

“It's heartbreaking that all these people are hurt. It's heartbreaking that this man who shot them and his mother now have to deal with the death of their son. There are really no words for it. It's just so sad,” said Pat Marchione, a longtime Rochester Hills resident.

The community promises not to be defined by the actions of the shooter at the water playground, but rather to be remembered by their reaction. And that is love.

“Look at this, isn't this incredible? This is so wonderful. This is our community. This is what this community is about. This is a wonderful place to live,” Marchione said, referring to the crowd at the gathering.

The community of Rochester Hills is not alone in this situation.

In Troy, Woodside Bible Church and Kensington Church came together to pray for the nine victims and their families, as well as the city of Rochester Hills.

“I don’t know any of the victims, but it breaks my heart,” said Sandra Crumbey, a member of Woodside Bible Church.

“It’s so difficult for a community to deal with something like this,” said Larry Harrison, a member of Woodside Bible Church.

Pat Potter, a member of Woodside Bible Church, said she couldn't imagine what the victims and their families are going through.

“When children are having fun with their parents and grandparents, it’s just incredible when something like this happens,” she said.

Woodside pastor Christopher W. Brooks helped organize the meeting.

“This is an opportunity, a chance for us as a community to love one another, to support one another and to show that we can do our best even when we are at our worst,” he said.

Related: Rochester Hills mayor receives calls for support from across the county after mass shooting

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