Odessa church leaders preaching unity, respect after Dallas shooting

Odessa church leaders preaching unity, respect after Dallas shooting
Flowers were taped to a statue outside the police station. (Source: KWES)
Flowers were taped to a statue outside the police station. (Source: KWES)
Friday night's vigil was held to unite and strengthen, church leaders said. (Source: KWES)
Friday night's vigil was held to unite and strengthen, church leaders said. (Source: KWES)
Odessans of different backgrounds gathered for the vigil. (Source: KWES)
Odessans of different backgrounds gathered for the vigil. (Source: KWES)

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Prayer vigils were held Friday in front of Odessa Police headquarters by multiple groups following Thursday's mass shooting in Dallas.

"It is a pretty dark hour in our community and I want us all to come together as beacons of light," said local church leader Roy Perkins. "We need to work towards unity and pray for everyone right now."

He and more than 20 others gathered Friday night outside the police station and joined hands in a prayer circle.

Perkins said he hopes to "uplift and strengthen the community" at a time when tragedy threatens to escalate tension and widen divides.

"Our officers need prayers, our citizens need prayers... everyone needs that strength today," he said.

Odessa Police Chief Tim Burton asked the community to honor the five officers killed in Dallas by changing front porch lights to blue lights bulbs.

"These were real people with real families who are hurting very badly now," he said. "Let's remember not to take an individual incident and turn it into a generalized perspective on what may be occurring in society."

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