Miami U students hold vigil for Sikh lives lost in Indy shooting

“[This] is the reality of what gun violence is doing. It is tearing families apart.”

Local candlelight vigil held to honor Indianapolis mass-shooting victims

OXFORD, Ohio (FOX19) - Miami University students gathered for a candlelight vigil Thursday night to honor the lives lost in Indianapolis last week.

The mass shooting last Thursday killed eight at a FedEx facility. At least four of the victims were members of the Sikh community.

Miami University’s Sikh Student Association hosted the vigil. The group gathered around the iconic seal at the center of campus.

Navkiran Kaur Chima is founder and president of the Sikh Student Association.

“For the Sikh students and the Sikh community here, to feel heard, seen, valued, appreciated, respected [and] understood,” Chima said afterward of why they hosted the vigil. “I think we really were able to accomplish that, and also educate people on who we are as a community and as a faith.”

Said student Ben Finfrock, “I think with so many of these shootings, we just become so numb to all of it and we forget to take time to remember that these are people’s lives. That was somebody who woke up with family in the morning and didn’t come home, and that is the reality of what gun violence is doing. It is tearing families apart.”

Student Jannie Kanaia said it’s about solidarity.

“This week has been a very emotional week for all of the community, but I think particularly for the Black community, and I know the individuals here, especially the Sikh community, will stand in solidarity with issues that face our community,” she said. “So I am here to pay those back to the same community that supports mine.”

Student Eli Davies is not Sikh but thought it important to show up for support.

“I really care about these issues and diversity issues, and showing support for communities like this, especially when they’re going through a tough time like this,” he said. “I am an Asian American, so we’ve had the shooting in Atlanta recently, I think it’s important to show solidarity together.”

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