BRADENTON -- Members of King's River Christian Church gathered Friday evening for a special prayer service in memory of the three people killed in Thursday's triple homicide.
The church, 4444 Fifth St. W., Bradenton, was filled with song, prayer and tears.
Pastor Curtis Forbes stood on a stage and led the congregation in prayer.
"Father, we don't have words to say, we don't have answers, but we do have your word and we can pray," he said. "As we pray, we remember those tonight who lost their lives yetserday. We just pray for your spirit to lead us, for your spirit to guide us, and for your spirit to comfort all of those who feel pain and confusion."
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Between songs performed by the church's Worship Team, images of the three victims: Amber Avalos, 33; Denise Potter, 46; and the Rev. James "Tripp" Battle, 31, the lead pastor at Bayshore Baptist Church, were projected on a screen.
Avalos' husband, Andres "Andy" Avalos, 33, is wanted in connection with the triple slayings and, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, is still at-large and is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Forbes, who organized the last-minute prayer service with his wife, Desiree, as a result of the homicides, spoke a bit about each victim. He prayed for their children.
During each song, several members threw their hands up in praise.
A few wiped tears from their eyes.
Reina Gonzalez, 46, was among those in the congregation Friday evening.
"I feel sad for the families," she said. "I just pray for the families (of the victims) to stick together."
Veronica Raynor, 43, said she doesn't know any of the victims personally but still wanted to come to the prayer service for support.
"I think a lot of people were definitely affected by what took place and (are) definitely mourning," she said.
After the service, Forbes said the church was blessed to see some members come out to support those affected by the recent homicides.
"We were blessed to see people sincere, caring, thoughtful," he said. "As a pastor looking around, I could see on peoples' faces that they truly cared and that they were believing in the power of their prayers for God to bring healing and to bring hope and to bring restoration to all those who were affected by the tragedy."
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.