SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community and allies joined together for a march through the streets and candlelight vigil in Hillcrest to honor the victims of the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

There were moments of silence, singing, to chanting powerful phrases like “stop the hate” and “stop killing us” as a sea of supporters marched from Rich’s, a popular gay nightclub in the area, to the Hillcrest Pride Flagpole.

“People asked, ‘were you surprised?’ No. We knew the pulse nightclub was not going to be the end of this,” City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez told FOX 5.

This, all part of a grander message of perseverance and pleas for reform at Monday night’s candlelit vigil in Hillcrest following the deadly weekend shooting in Colorado Springs at a gay nightclub.

“This touches me deeply seeing that I am a bartender in this community,” said Freda Horton, a bartender at the Gossip Grill in Hillcrest now fearful of another deadly attack.

“You’re so saddened by the loss and then your fear kicks in, and then you’re angry. You’re angry that you had to be targeted when all you want to do is spread hope, peace and love.” 

Freda Horton, San Diego resident, member of the LGBTQ+ community

City and county leaders also marching as one, recalling the lives of the five innocent victims who were senselessly shot and killed.

“This is directly personal to me so I will stand here in solidarity with my community and say we will not go back to the closet. We will not recede from public life,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria told FOX 5 in a one-on-one interview.

In an effort to protect and prevent, San Diego police also promising increased presence in the Hillcrest community along with undercover officers at local bars.

“We’re going to stay very focused on keeping our presence here and working with the community and educating the community of what they can expect,” Chief of Police David Nisleit said.