Californians Open Up to Chaplains After San Jose Shooting

By Ron Nickel   •   May 30, 2021

chaplains praying
After a gunman killed nine people May 26 in San Jose, California, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deployed to offer emotional and spiritual care in the community.
chaplains talk to law enforcement officers
The building pictured behind the chaplains and law enforcement officers is where the tragedy took place, a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard. The gunman was a former VTA employee.
chaplains praying
Before heading out into the community, our crisis-trained chaplains spend time in prayer to surrender each conversation to Christ.
Chaplain Mike How shares the "Steps to Peace With God" booklet, which uses Scripture to explain the path to redemption.
Sometimes a hug speaks what words cannot in times of grief.
Locals set up a memorial site to grieve the nine lives lost.
chaplain praying with group
Emotions are raw in the community, and many people are opening up to Rapid Response Team chaplains ministering in the area.
chaplain kneeling by car
The driver of this car witnessed the shooting and told our chaplains that the gunman ran right past her before killing others nearby. The woman later texted our chaplains: “You were my first contact. You helped me tremendously.” She also encouraged other VTA friends to talk to the Rapid Response Team.
Prayer is a way to take locals' burdens to God. Chaplains have prayed with more than 160 people in San Jose.
woman hugging dog
A local organization brought emotional support dogs to the memorial site, and they have had an amazing effect on those grieving.
Locals wrote thoughtful notes for their community and placed them around the memorial site.
chaplains at police station
Chaplains have also been available to support law enforcement as this investigation unfolds. They prayed in front of the local police station, which is near the site of the shooting.
chaplains talk to man
VTA’s bus driver’s lunch room has been turned into an open counseling site, where Billy Graham chaplains have served late into the night. This man stopped by and told our chaplains about his friends who were killed during the shooting.
mother with young boys at memorial site
Will you take a minute to pray for the San Jose community, as family, friends and co-workers process this heartbreaking tragedy?