LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A candlelight vigil was held Thursday night to remember two Nevada State Troopers killed by a suspected drunk driver on the I-15.
The event, which took place outside Allegiant Stadium, honored Sergeant Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix while also encompassing a time of true tragedy in Las Vegas.
“The community has taken blow after blow after blow,” Nevada State Police Highway Patrol Major Kevin Honea told 8 News Now.
Families of the fallen joined law enforcement and members of the community, all coming together in an emotional show of solidarity.
“To lose two of our men in one night is a huge chunk of our heart and soul,” Nevada State Police Lieutenant and Chelsea Stuenkel said. “And it’s a huge chunk of this community.”
Lt. Stuenkel, who is also President of the Las Vegas Injured Police Officers Fund spoke at the ceremony, which consisted of songs, prayers, and a candlelit moment of silence.
“It’s so important for the healing, not only of my colleagues, of their family members, but the community” Lt. Stuenkel explained. “Even people who didn’t know them personally, they need this chance to heal and come together.”
Several others, including Major Honea, also spoke about the three faculty members killed Wednesday, when a gunman opened fire on UNLV’s campus.
“To be able to honor the victims of the senseless acts at UNLV,” Major Honea told 8 News Now. “Has also been important.”
Two events that left Las Vegas grief-stricken have also shown the city’s ability to always come together and unite as one.
“I guess if 1 October taught us anything,” Major Honea concluded. “It’s how we need to come together as a community.”
Major Honea also shared with 8 News Now that Sergeant Abbate had been promoted to his latest position just two weeks before he died.
If you’d like to donate and help the fallen troopers’ families, click HERE.
A prayer service at St. Viator Church was also held on Thursday evening for the victims of the UNLV shooting. Several students attended the candlelight service near Flamingo Road and Eastern Avenue.
“There’s nothing more that we need than people,” UNLV Freshman Regan Samson said. “Everybody just has to stay together, we have to stay united as a community, as friends, as family.”
Additional support and counselors were also on hand at the prayer vigil to help those in need.