WILKES-BARRE — Organizers have announced details of a walk/vigil to be held Saturday in memory of Michael “DJ Mo” Onley and other victims of gun violence.
Darlene Duggins-Magdalinski, one of the coordinators, said the event will start at 5 p.m. on Public Square with City Councilman George Brown offering remarks. She said Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis has also been invited to speak.
After the speeches, Duggins-Magdalinski said, everyone will walk down South Main Street to Outsiders Bar, where Onley was fatally shot early Sunday morning. Several close friends and associates of Onley will speak, followed by the Rev. Shawn Walker of First Baptist Church of Wilkes-Barre.
“The purpose of this event is to send a message to the community that we want to bring peace to our city and to our community as a whole,” Duggins-Magdalinski said. “We want everybody to know it’s going to be OK and that we have faith in the city that they will bring DJ Mo’s killer to justice.”
Onley, 34, of Madison Street, Wilkes-Barre, was killed in the patio court area of Outsiders Bar at 12:15 a.m Sunday. City police have not made any arrests or disclosed any motive. An autopsy revealed Onley died from a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death was ruled a homicide by the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office.
Walker said he knew Onley for “all of three hours” that he was the DJ at an event for the Building Bridges movement.
“But I felt like I knew him all my life,” Walker said of Onley. “When I learned what had happened, it was like a big punch in the gut. This community is not going to let this one go.”
Walker said his message will be one of hope and he will try to impress upon everyone that things can change.
“Because what I have been seeing is that there is a general lack of hope, in that people don’t really feel that things are going to change. But change doesn’t necessarily start with government — it starts with each of us.”
Walker said each person needs to be “relevant” — to get involved and be engaged in an informed manner.
“All the talking we do doesn’t mean anything unless we turn that rhetoric into relevance,” Walker said. “Everyone needs to look in the mirror and decide how to better themselves, their families and the community. We have to stop pointing fingers and start taking action.”
By being relevant, Walker said each person has to be better today than he or she was yesterday. He said everyone has the opportunity to be heard, not through their voices, but by their actions.
“We all have to do small acts of service,” he said. “We can no longer assume someone else is doing it. We have to understand the issues and help to resolve those issues.”
Scheduled to speak at the vigil at Outsiders are Bashir Wood, Andre Robertson and fellow DJs Anxious M.C., Vee Major and Jeff “Destro” Cashner, said Duggins-Magdalinski.
She said organizers are reaching out to the families of other victims of gun violence to bring them all together for support.
“We want everyone to stay positive,” she said. “Hopefully, by coming together as a city and as a community, we can bring peace and harmony to the community. We all need to get on the same page.”
After the vigil, Duggins-Magdalinski said, there will be a “meet-and-greet” session in Outsiders with food and music provided.
“We will not be serving alcohol,” she said.