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September 14, 2012 09:57 PM

Murder Victim Remembered At Peace Vigil

sioux falls, sd

More than 50 people attended a peace vigil at the site of a brutal murder-suicide in Sioux Falls Friday night.

Amanda Connors was shot Tuesday afternoon outside of the Sioux Falls Cost Cutters store she managed. Police believe Connors was trying to protect an employee inside the store from her ex-boyfriend, Tyrone Smith.

The crowd included strangers, colleagues and friends of Connors.

“She was a great coworker. She always had a smile on her face,” Erica Burden said, who worked at the salon for about a year with Connors.

“No one has great love to lay down one's life for one's friend. Amanda died because she loved,” Jean Bhatti with Southeast South Dakota Pax Christi said.

The crowd gathered directly in front of the Cost Cutters store, still closed after Tuesday’s incident. The sidewalk in front of the store was still lined with memorials illuminated by candlelight.

“I'll always remember she loved to read. I know she went through a book every week. She dug her face in a book when we were in the back waiting for clients to come in,” Burden said.

Some of the mourners were in the store during the standoff. They were still so shaken by Tuesday's violence, they couldn't speak. But Bhatti says it’s time to let go of the violence.

“If you want peace, the one thing you need to do is be peace and do something for peace. It's not going to happen by itself,” Bhatti said.

“She always made the day fun when I came to work. And I'll always miss her,” Burden said.

The Southeastern South Dakota Pax Christi chapter holds similar vigils at all violent crime sites.

Amanda Connors funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, September 15 at First Reformed Church in Sioux Falls.

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