Family, friends pray for Tucson native injured in Las Vegas shooting
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The flags were lowered to half staff Monday at Desert View High School on the south side of Tucson, after being ordered by the President, in a nationwide moment of mourning.
Little did the Jaguars staff and students know that they'd be connected to the chaos.
Savannah Nicole Sanchez, a 2009 graduate, was among the more than 500 people injured during Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas. The 26-year-old woman is fighting for her life in a Las Vegas hospital, according to her family.
It's why her family, and childhood friends, set out to help her spiritually.
"They're members at our church, and they're part of our family. So if one member of the family's hurt, you're there for everybody else. It's how we're supposed to be as Christians," said Father Earl Cantos of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
They came together to pray for Sanchez during Tuesday night's candlelight vigil at Mission Manor Park on 12th Avenue. Friends told Tucson News Now that Sanchez went to school at nearby Mission Manor Elementary as a child.
The gathering, organized on Facebook, brought about 50 people to the basketball courts.
Father Earl Cantos stepped in to help. He told Tucson News Now that he got a call from Savannah's mother as she was driving up to Las Vegas to be at her daughter's hospital bedside.
"She was concerned about her daughter. By that time, she had already had one surgery. She's had two surgeries now," he said.
We've reported that Sanchez suffered gunshot wounds to vital organs and is on life support. Family is waiting a few days to see if there is any improvement before taking any further steps.
Sanchez moved to California for college and to pursue a career in photography. Her mother and three younger sisters still live in the Catalina area, but are currently in Las Vegas to be with her.
Tuesday's vigil had all attendees thinking of Savannah, and other victims. It's why her cousin showed up.
"To give support to the family and to Savannah and for others that have been hurt and people that have lost their loved ones," said Bella, who declined to give her last name. "It's kind of hard still to soak in. But I'm sure she's going to pull through."
For Bella, the news of her cousin's injuries is still hard for the family to take.
It's even difficult for a priest, who is trained to deal with tragedy.
"Our training is to help people in difficult times. I was shocked because I didn't think that we would have a connection being so far away. But this tragedy is going to touch people all over the United States with so many people hurt."
There is a GoFundMe page for the family, to help with medical bills: https://www.gofundme.com/3mqwj7-las-vegas-shooting-victim
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