The Lompoc community came together Sunday for a candlelight vigil remembering those who have lost their lives to violent crimes in the city.
This event comes on the heels of two murders in the last three weeks, one of those was the death of a 17-year-old girl who police say was “innocently killed” while babysitting.
It was hard to find a dry eye in the Civic Center Plaza as the father of the teen, Jorge Charco, addressed the Lompoc community for the first time.
“They took away my daughter but they didn’t take away the love and belief I have in this city. Our officials and the government, in general, is not responsible for what our children do – the responsible parties are us as parents of the acts our children commit,” Charco said.
Charco is hoping for parents to take more responsibility for their children ending up on a bad path.
His sentiments were a part of a candlelight vigil that community members put together to honor the lives of those lost to violent crimes and take a stand against violence in the city.
Lompoc community members are getting ready for a candlelight vigil tonight to honor the lives of those lost to violent crimes in the city. These luminaries represent one homicide victim from the last 10 years. Event starts at 7 in the Civic Center Plaza @KSBY
Posted by Melissa Newman on Sunday, March 31, 2019
“The senseless act of violence is something that can’t be ignored or forgotten and I think the community is coming together (Sunday) to recognize that in hopes we can continue to work together to make this nonexistent. We have to work toward that end and remain optimistic; we’re a community and a community as a whole has to work on public safety,” Chief of the Lompoc Police Department, Joseph Mariani said.
Many of the members of the audience were comprised of teens from Lompoc High School who were friends with the girl who was killed. Her identity is still not being released as her death is still a part of an active investigation.
“We were all her friends so for us that really hit us and really motivated us that we really need to do something for the community and how the impact is really hurting others,” said Lompoc High School Student, Jasmin Marroquin.
A group of around two dozen Lompoc teens will be hosting a performance signing songs against violence in the city and honoring the lives lost at the city’s next Food Truck Friday on April 5th.