Neighbors in Pflugerville held a vigil Friday night to remember the victims who died and were injured at the hand of Austin bomber Mark Conditt.
“We had a lot of families that were connected with his family, years ago,” said Tom Cottar, a pastor at First Baptist Church in Pflugerville.
Cottar is helped organize the vigil, which focused on the lives Conditt took. “The main thing we wanted to do is just offer our prayer and our support for all the families that are involved all over the county,” said Cottar.
Shannon Schulze lives six doors down from the bomber. She emphasized just how important is for the community to come together. “Just having something like that, is like six houses away from us, is pretty scary,” she said. It’s not going to define us. We are a wonderful community, and we’ll keep moving along.”
The candlelight vigil was originally scheduled to take place along Main near Second street, but because so many people attended, they moved it First Baptist Church in Pflugerville.
“We just felt compelled to grab our community together to say despite what has happened, let’s just come together, support one another, be in unity with one another because this is what Pflugerville does,” said one of the organizers, Julia Ruiz. “There are a lot of questions being asked, what could we have done, could we have done anything different? We don’t know.”
Before the vigil began, KXAN also talked to some business owners on Pecan Street. After the downtown area was evacuated during the investigation, we wanted to see if regulars were coming back to shop and eat at their favorite stores.
Delton’s Barbershop was packed with customers. The owner didn’t want to talk to us on camera, but he told KXAN the first bombing victim, Anthony Stephan House, was a regular there. He said House came in once every two weeks or so.
He also remembered seeing Mark Conditt come in a few times to get his hair cut.
At a different barber shop down the road, Nashid Rashid told us he cut Draylen Mason’s brother’s hair recently. Rashid said he did his best to simply lend an ear and show support.
“When people are going through trying situations like this, they really don’t want to hear much, all they want is somebody to talk to, just somebody to listen to them, so that’s what I was trying to do,” he explained.