Spring community vigil held for Stay family

Hundreds of people gather to show support for family

SPRING, Texas - Hours after loved ones mourned the Stay family at their funeral, many of the family's neighbors in Spring said goodbye in their own way.

Hundreds of people, mostly strangers, gathered at Forest Oaks Park Wednesday to show their support for the six members of the Stay family shot killed inside their home last week.

The only survivor was 15-year-old Cassidy Stay.

"Her dad's not going to be there to walk her down the aisle," said 14-year-old Zachary Keiser, who'd never met the Stays. "Her mother's not going to be there to cry for her and see her go off to college. She's not going to be able to see her little brother graduate high school. Why not show support for that girl?"

Although the Stay family were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was Spring Baptist Church that organized Wednesday's prayer vigil in the park.

"I think it's important, especially when a tragedy takes place in any community, that people of all faiths come together," said Spring Baptist Church Pastor Mark Estep, who guided the prayers. "I don't know how anybody can hear of a tragedy like this and it not just play on our heart strings."

After music and prayer, supporters (many dressed in Cassidy's favorite color) lined up to tie turquoise ribbons around the same bench where the Stays took one of their last family photos together.

"I can't even imagine how (Cassidy) is feeling or what she's going through," said Spring neighbor Leticia Vasquez. "But just to reach out and do what you can? That's the least you can do."

Cassidy Stay's well-wishers have turned out en masse since Wednesday evening's tragedy.

"She'll sense the prayers from people all over Spring, Texas, United States, and the world literally," Estep said. "Hundreds of thousands of people have been praying for Cassidy and her family."

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