Vigil held for mother and four-year-old son shot and killed in Kalamazoo

Posted at 10:28 PM, Nov 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-12 01:22:00-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich.-- Just days after a mother and her son were killed in Kalamazoo, hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil in their honor. Julina Gibson and her four-year-old son Nick were shot by Nick's father, Nick Mitchell, on Thursday morning outside of their home on Emerson Street. Mitchell then turned the gun in front of the home. All three of them were taken to the hospital where they died from injuries.

Hundreds of people came out Saturday night to mourn the loss of Julina Gibson and her four-year-old son Nick. The community is trying to come to terms with two tragic losses. They lit candles and said prayers just steps away from where Julina Gibson and her four-year-old-son were shot on Thursday.

"It doesn't even feel real yet," said Lorie Gennara, a close friend of the family. "A beautiful little baby and a beautiful wonderful mom are gone. It's senseless and I don't understand."

"I'm in shock," said Jasmine Hamilton," a close friend of the family. "It's crazy. How could you shoot your own child or the mother of your child at that? It still kind of feels like a dream."

Julina's mother, Linda Newkirk, thanked the crowd on Saturday from the front steps of the home.

"Thank you and thank you for your support," said Newkirk. "They had a whole lot of love and a whole lot of family and people that stood by them."

A memorial with candles, teddy bears and flowers was set up in front of the home with pictures of Julina and Nick front and center.

"This family has to suffer for the rest of their days without Julina and that baby," said Gennara. "There's nothing that we can do to bring them back."

"This is horrible," said Hamilton. "It's just crazy. Everybody is hurt. They knew a lot of people."

The community also has a lot of questions as to why these two lives were taken much too soon.

"It's just a senseless heinous crime that I'm very angry about," said Gennara. "A lot of people are. I just hope something can be done about psychotic people that shouldn't have guns."

Funerals for the victims are set to take place next week.