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Roswell Mourns Slain Family

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Courtesey of Equality New Mexico
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People in Roswell, N.M., gathered in St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Tuesday, June 14.

Though the country is focused on Orlando, another mass shooting happened in southeastern New Mexico last weekend, where a man is accused of shooting and killing his family. People in Roswell gathered on Tuesday to grieve. 

Todd Barker has lived in Roswell all his life. And he was struggling, watching the news reports on TV about the killings in his community and in Orlando, Florida, where he’d just vacationed with his husband. "Something told me, you know, something has to be done," he said. 

Barker quickly put together a vigil in St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, and about 150 people showed up. Speakers addressed domestic violence, as well as LGBTQ issues. " I think there was a lot was a lot of healing," he said. "And I also think it brought a lot of people together to keep in touch and console and comfort each other." 

Roswell is unlikely to talk about gun policy, Barker said, because it’s a conservative community. And it’s also hard to unite the city’s LGBTQ community. Regardless, he says, the message of the vigil was delivered: Love wins over hate.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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