Vigil Honors Murder Victim Two Years Later

Ygnacio "Notch" Bermudez was shot to death in downtown Lansing in 2011. On Sunday his family held a vigil to honor his memory and fight violence in the capital city.

 
  • As daylight faded from the sky, lanterns and candles lit Michigan Avenue, honoring Ygnacio Bermudez -- a man shot to death in Lansing.

  • It's been two years since his younger brother was murdered, but Joe Bermudez is still working on coping with his death.

  • "We were super, super close," said Bermudez as he looked at photos of his brother. "We were best friends and we kind of leaned on each other."

  • Joe Bermudez said he was too devastated to commemorate Notch's death last year. "He's just touched so many people," said Joe. "You know the impact he had on people's lives because people still want to honor him. And after his death you really realize what he's done."

  • Friends and family members played Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" and a song written specifically for Notch after his passing. Others lit candles and exchanged hugs as they huddled around photos of the man they say they lost too early.

  • "It's a process and it still feels like we just lost him yesterday," said Aimee Lara, Bermudez's sister. "It's been two years and we needed to move forward. A lot of family members haven't been at this location since then. They won't even drive down the street, so it's kind of a process of moving forward, getting past the tragedy."

  • But the vigil wasn't just to honor Bermudez. It was to ask for an end to violence in Michigan's capital city.

  • "It's giving honor to an individual," said Rina Risper, whose non-profit runs the Stop the Violence Initiative. "But it's also letting other people remember that there are so many other individuals that need to be given honor to that may not have the family structure, they may not have the time and they just may not want to."

  • People who didn't even know Bermudez joined the vigil on Michigan Ave., an encouraging sign for Risper.

  • "I constantly hear from people, what is one rally going to do?" said Risper. "What is one march going to do? And I think it's really based on the individual to constantly be involved and be a productive person for families that are impacted by violence."

  • Click through the gallery to see additional images from Sunday's vigil.

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