Family of Cloud 9 shooting victim hosts vigil

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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - On Friday, September 13, 2019, friends and family of Benetria Robinson gathered at a vigil held in her memory, four years after she was shot and killed outside the Cloud 9 nightclub in Ocala.

"She was a very special girl,” said Benetria’s cousin Dwayne Hudson. "She was in college. About this time, she would be graduating from college with her masters degree. She was very important to the family because she was the inspiration that kept us going.”

"She was like the life of the party, so it was always good having her around,” said Benetria’s aunt Elease Peele. "She made you smile, she made you laugh even when you were down."

But Benetria's story lives on - inspiring her loved ones to speak out against gun violence in their community.

"That's what this is all about,” said Hudson. "Loving the memories of Benetria and the family and friends coming together to say once again, 'Put the guns down.' The guns are not the answer to every problem."

"Stop the violence, put down the guns, and live as one. Benetria, that's all she had wanted. She wanted everyone to come together, to be happy, to live as one,” said Benetria’s father Bennie Robinson.

Family and friends say they will continue to gather every year to share happy memories of Benetria, and to promote peace in the community, just like she would have wanted.