Church holds service tonight for Forrest City community after Monday’s shooting

Local News

FORREST CITY, Ark. — A prayer vigil held this evening for two officers injured earlier this week during a deadly shooting at a Walmart.

It was a night of worship, prayer and love. The church was filled with first responders, Walmart employees and community members who all were deeply affected by Monday’s shooting.

It has been hard to come to terms with what happened, tonight was a step forward for this town.

“When something like this happens you have to have a way to love a community in a way they never have before,” said Pastor Jim Waley of Ridewood Baptist Church.

As the voices joined together in solidarity, this Forrest City community starts to heal.

“It’s taken a while to kind of gather your thoughts, gather your emotions and then to move forward,” said Pastor Whaley.

Past Whaley said Monday’s shooting shook this tight knit community to its core.

“You never expect that to happen in small town Arkansas,” said Pastor Whaley. “It’s a call nobody wants to get especially when a family member is involved.”

Detective Eugene Watlington was one of the two officers shot. His brother Tommy is an active member at the church.

At this prayer service he sat front row as his church family wrapped their arms around him.

Watlington felt a sense of hope.

“Prayer is what my brother needs more than anything else. It’s what I need, what my family needs, everybody,” said Tommy.

Tommy said his brother is doing a lot better today. He sat up and even took two steps. Tommy tells us he wants to thank the other first responders who stayed by his brothers side and the community for all their thoughts and prayers.

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