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Major crowd gathers in Northampton to remember victims of Orlando shooting

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- On Wednesday, around one thousand people crowded the steps of Northampton's City Hall to pay respect and remember the victims of Sunday's mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

"Tonight we are here together," said Lena Wilson, one of the event organizers. "I want to welcome you all to this space and thank you for reminding us with your presence that our existence is real and it is important."

Kimberly "KJ" Morris, 37, a native of Torrington, had recently moved to Orlando and was working as a bouncer at Pulse, the gay nightclub where the shooting occurred. Morris was among the 49 victims.


Courtesy Northampton Police

Gov. Rick Scott said Morris had recently moved to Florida from Hawaii to take care of her mother.

Years ago, Morris played on the women's championship basketball team at Torrington High School.  Her coach, Michael Fritch, says she was a better person than basketball player.  "A great kid, fun to be around, loved to dance while we were warming up and stuff with all the other girls, never a bad thing to say about anyone," Fritch said.

Click here for complete coverage of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

She's being remembered by Diva's nightclub in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she was a performer. "We will always remember her smile and her amazing way she lite up the stage in her performances . Keep dancing KJ ... And we'll keep smiling remembering you!!"

People at the vigil also took time to comfort, console and help each other.

"It's been really hard but it's also been really empowering knowing that we're not afraid and we're all going to fight together to end this kind of oppression and this kind of violence," said Kate Nadel of Northampton.

"I think it's a really good representation and you can see in times of need everybody will just come together, forget their differences and just help each other out," said Emily Paroty of Palmer, Massachusetts.

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