Community gathers for prayer vigil for Justin Ferrari

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Updated Saturday, May 26 at 5:21 PM

SEATTLE - The search continues for a shooter that killed an innocent man in the Central District on Thursday. And as police look for leads, the community looks at what needs to change in their neighborhood.

On Saturday, neighbors and community members gathered near MLK Jr. Way and East Cherry Street for a prayer vigil for Justin Ferrari.

Forty-three-year Ferrari was killed when a stranger started shooting in Seattle's Central District. Seattle Police say the gunman's intended target was another person involved in a dispute with the gunman.

The prayer vigil was an opportunity for the community to try to begin healing, according to Greg Banks, who organized the gathering.

"Just having a very hard time with it right now," said Beckie Ish, one of Ferrari’s childhood friends.

"He was brilliant. He was so smart. He graduated second in our class," she said. "It is going to take a long time for the family to heal."

Jennifer Marquardt was there to support Justin's wife.

"We've known each other for 7 years, since our babies were born,” she said. "Everybody is just heartbroken for them, for her and her children."

A local pastor who says he turned his life around has this message for the shooter that is still on the run.

“I once combed these same streets and wreaked havoc and I know that changed is a personal choice,” said Pastor Ray Rogers. “Give yourself up, give yourself up, allow the justice system to help you through this process.”

KING 5's Susan Wyatt contributed to this report.

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