Racine community rallies for peace, remembers recent victims of violence

NOW: Racine community rallies for peace, remembers recent victims of violence

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- People in Racine were supporting one another Thursday night, after several violent deaths in the community.

There were hugs between police and the community at a peace rally in downtown Racine Thursday, as people mourn the loss of Police Officer John Hetland and others who have lost their lives to violence.

"It's great to see everyone come together, especially after everything this community has been through," said Sergeant Sarah Zupke. "It's been a very difficult time for everybody.

In May, Angelica Rios was killed in a murder-suicide, and Gene Smith was stabbed and later died.

On Monday, Officer Hetland was at Teezer's Bar and Grill, off-duty. He was shot and killed as he tried to stop a robbery at the bar. 

People gathered at this peace rally to come together after several tragic deaths in their community.

"What I see today is a diversified group of people impacted by violence," said Pastor Prentiss Robbins. "It gives me hope that we can move forward, that we can rise above the situations in our community."

As the Racine Police Department is mourning Officer Hetland, they say it helps to see all these people in the community supporting each other.

The Racine Interfaith Coalition is asking people to take to their social media to share how they're working to make the community better and to come up with new ideas.

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