San Diego

Survivors, Victims of Crime Honored at Annual Vigil

A tribute was held Monday night for parents and family members bearing the burden of having lost a loved one to crime.

The vigil for crime victims kicked off the National Crime Victim's Rights Week.

Surviving victims and families of victims of deadly crimes gathered at the San Diego Police Officers Association Hall to offer each other support and share their stories of how crime has impacted their lives.

“I light this candle for my daughter Shauna who was killed by a coworker."

“I light this candle in honor of my sister."

Those were just two of the dozens of tributes to victims made by their friends and family at the vigil.

Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friend, one by one they said their murdered loved ones’ names and lit a candle in their honor.

Precious Hernandez took to the podium on behalf of her deceased brother and shared her heartache while also letting other crime survivors know her mother is in Sacramento fighting to help pass a victims' compensation bill, as well as a trauma recovery bill.

Dressed in a shirt with her son Brandon Duran's face, his mother held what she called a handkerchief of a million tears -- tears she cried into it during two trials that led to the conviction of her son's killers.

Dealing with the 2012 death of her son, she shared words of inspiration for others suffering through sadness.

“You have to be strong for those that you've lost. And I need to be strong for those left behind, my grandson. Don’t be afraid to cry -- it will happen -- just remember the wonderful good times you were blessed with.”

The San Diego County Victim Assistance Coordinating Council hosted the vigil and had representatives there letting families know about the services available to them.

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