Oakdale church hosts prayer vigil after tragic shooting

3:46 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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OAKDALE, Minn. - Hundreds packed the sanctuary at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church Tuesday night, many asking why such a tragedy would occur.

"It's a normal question. It's a question I don't have an answer for," said Holy Cross Lutheran Pastor John Stiles.

Stiles organized a prayer vigil at his church not far from where 9-year-old Devin Aryal was shot and killed while riding in the car with his mother near 7th and Hadley in Oakdale Monday night. His mother was also shot in the arm, but survived.

Another victim, 68-year old Karen Knoblach, was shot while in her car. She was in good condition at Regions Hospital Tuesday night.

Police say a man randomly shot at the cars not far from his home.  

Stiles wanted to give people the opportunity to be together.

"Love conquers all," he said. "And that's what we want to remind people of. We will see our way through it."

Some of Devin's classmates left notes to their friend during the service while others just simply wanted to be there.

Cindy Lindsay was one of those people. She was at the Rainbow Foods Monday night where some of the shooting victims ended up. She was struck by the randomness of the tragedy.

"My kids are out and about all the time, it could have been anyone of us," said Lindsay.

A few miles away at the shooting scene, a steady stream of people left their thoughts and their prayers  at a growing memorial throughout the day, including Jesse Blue who knew Devin.

"It could have been anybody and it just happened to be my girlfriend's little brother," said Blue.

He describes Aryal as a smart, full of energy, one of a kind little boy.

"It's like one minute he was running around asking millions of questions and now he's gone," he said.

"My arm went numb and I had blood on my arm," said Devin's mother, Melissa Aryal who spoke with KARE 11's Blake McCoy Tuesday.

After getting shot in the arm, she said she pulled into the Rainbow Foods parking lot. And there she waited for help as she held her dying son.

"I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything, still thinking he could be walking through the door any minute. It's still really hard," she said. 

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