City of Kissimmee Commissioner Janette Martinez held a candlelight vigil outside the Osceola County historical courthouse on Monday, focused on reducing violence, and ending the senseless killings that the community is experiencing.

The commissioner was joined outside the Osceola County Historical Courthouse by other elected officials and community leaders who are looking to find ways to reduce gun violence in and around Kissimmee.

“Today I stand before you, burdened with the senseless killings that have plagued our society. It is a tragedy that we found ourselves constantly mourning innocent lives lost to the hand of violence, Commissioner Martinez said at the start of Monday’s vigil.

In March, three deadly shootings took place within a week, two in the same day. A shooting on a bike path left one teenager dead and another injured. Not long after, a shooting outside of the Mighty Wings restaurant on the corner of US192 and OBT killed a man and injured a man driving by in his car.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, which has been tracking gun violence data since 2013 and records shootings where at least four people are killed or injured, not including the shooter, there have been 200 people killed in 146 mass shootings already in 2023, the most recorded in 10 years.

“We’ve heard the names throughout the years, Pulse Nightclub, Parkland, Uvaldi, Newtown, even recently in Louisville, and just down the street here, there was a shooting only about a week ago,” right on the corner of OBT and US192, US Congressman Darren Soto shared during the vigil. “We know there continues to be a rise in gun violence. We remain concerned over things like unlicensed concealed weapons that are being legalized here in Florida.

“It is time for us to stand together and say enough is enough,” Martinez shared during the vigil. “We need community help, we need community watch programs in those areas that are no longer there. These are my neighbors, these are my friends, and we are not blind to what is happening.”

Kissimmee Commissioner Angela Eady kept it simple at the vigil repeating what she had said at a prayer vigil that she organized last month in Kissimmee, saying “if you see something, say something!”