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Vigil held for Hamilton double murder victims

Published: Feb. 15, 2016 at 6:32 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2016 at 9:37 PM CST
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Jimmy Dale Cooper (Source: Marion County Jail)
Jimmy Dale Cooper (Source: Marion County Jail)
Hundreds of people gathered for the Hamilton community vigil for murder victims Linda Cole and...
Hundreds of people gathered for the Hamilton community vigil for murder victims Linda Cole and Donny Miller. Source: Josh Gauntt/WBRC
Flowers are left outside Linda Cole's office in Hamilton. Source: WBRC video
Flowers are left outside Linda Cole's office in Hamilton. Source: WBRC video

HAMILTON, AL (WBRC) - A multi-denominational prayer vigil is taking place in Hamilton on Monday night as a way to promote healing from last week's deadly shootings.

"We didn't want the week to end in tragedy," Samuel Bentley of The Ramp ministry in Hamilton said.

"We want to unify and bring something beautiful out of the many broken pieces," Bentley said.

Donny Miller, 67, was fatally shot in the Scott Hunt law office and Linda Cole, 61, was fatally shot at the Lawler and Cole accounting firm. Authorities said the shooting suspect, 57-year-old Jimmy Cooper, knew both Miller and Cole.

Monday's vigil was organized by several churches. It will take place at the Hamilton Recreation Center at 317 7th Avenue SW.

The main message of the night was a prayer for healing.

"We just pray for those individuals that was there at the time that this happened. And we just hope for some closure and just the Lord's blessings on our town," Mayor Wade Williams said.

Friends said Miller was a dedicated, longtime volunteer firefighter with Byrd Fire and Rescue.

"Anytime I called on him, Donny was there. He went far beyond what anybody would do. He was the pillar of our community and our fire department," Jeremy Prestage, Chief of Byrd Fire and Rescue, said.

The service ended with a candle lighting and everyone sang "Amazing Grace."

Cooper is charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of kidnapping after authorities said he entered two separate office buildings and opened fire on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

He is being held in the Marion County Jail. He briefly appeared in court late Friday.

Funeral services were held for Linda Cole over the weekend.

A firefighter memorial service for Miller will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the Landmark Freewill Baptist Church at 11 a.m.

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