They call themselves a family. A family that has lost a loved one.
"Please light your candles at this time," says the organizer of a candlelight vigil.
Hundreds of University of Memphis students, faculty, and staff gather in the center of campus to remember 21 year-old Taylor Bradford. They light and raise candles in his honor. For some, the emotion is unbearable.
"We shouldn't be up here remembering him cause he should be up here with us," says a fraternity brother.
Among those in this crowd are friends who knew him best and those who only knew of him.
"I mean, nobody expects someone that you see around campus all the time to just be gone," says Tameshia Vaughn. "And then, in such a way that he was killed," she adds.
It's an act of violence that is a call for action.
"Take this just like you're holding that light tonight, take it back to the classroom, take it back to city hall, take it to this mayoral race and let them know we are sick of the crime," says Bradford friend and Memphis pastor Stacy Spencer.
University officials join in the sorrow and the renewed interest to make things safer.
"There must be a place where those who want to learn can be safe," says university president Dr. Shirley Raines.
"Focus on the future, never forget what happened, make things better because of it," says athletic director R.C. Johnson.
That's something that may bring to an end the kind of loss for which these candles are lit.