The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

January 29, 2014

Church hosts vigil for Ashtabula shooting victims

Area residents gather to pray for end of violence

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Dozens of people gathered  at First Community Church of God Tuesday evening to support a family in mourning and to pray for a way to stop violence in the community.

Catalyst for the vigil was Monday afternoon’s triple shooting on Norman Avenue in Ashtabula. Lydia Aviles Mook-Colon, 43, died from wounds; son Alexis Xavier Mook-Colon, 20, was also killed while a second son, Benny Alexander Mook-Colon, 23, was critically wounded.

Debbie Hunt, a member of the church, talked with friends on Facebook concerning the violence in the community and asked pastor Harold Morgan to host a community-wide service to support the family and fight violence.

People from a variety of ethnic groups, churches and neighborhoods gathered to mourn and try to keep similar situations from happening in the future.

“Our hearts go out to this family that was so devastated,” Morgan said. He also said people are asking questions on why there is so much violence in the community.

Terrence Henton started a portion of the service by asking everyone to move to a different seat and greet someone they didn’t know. “We just made our town a little bit smaller,” he said.

Henton said the victims the family returned to Ashtabula from Florida seven months ago. “They weren’t into drugs,” he said.

Henton said Phillip Mook went to work on Monday and came home to discover his wife was fighting for her life, one son was dead and another son was clinging to life. Aviles Mook-Colon later died during surgery at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

“This could happen to any of us,” Henton said.

Henton called for everyone at the service to step up and be leaders. “We must change what we do from this day somehow take our city back,” he said.

Ruben Mook, Phillip’s brother, thanked people for coming to the service.

“Keep in mind my nephew Benny is struggling for his life,” he said. “They were just good people. It wasn’t meant for them to go this way.”

Ruben Mook said the family returned to the area to be with family.

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