AMHERST COUNTY, Va. -

An emotional scene in Amherst tonight as those connected to Johnson gathered at a candle light vigil to honor her memory. But there was also a message of hope, the hope that with awareness, this kind of violence can be put to an end.

Through tears and words of hope, a community and a broken family came together to start the healing process as they mourned Jennifer Johnson.

Johnson, was a mother, a sister, a daughter and a friend to so many. Those closest to her, are forever changed.

"I don't have the words," Johnson's mother, Jessie Showalter-Moynahan told WDBJ7 through tears. I don't think I've accepted it, I just think it's some kind of bad dream, I don't understand. I'm going to miss her."

Investigators say Cordell Carter, the father of Johnson's 6-year-old, shot and killed her; leaving one of these young boys to call 9-1-1 afterwards. And even amid the allegations against Carter, Johnson's family is coping with grace.

"He had his reasons. We'll get through this, none of us hate him, not like him right now, but we don't hate him," said Johnson's grandmother, Ann Harper.

Johnson was soon to be a graduate of Liberty University. Everyone who knew her said she had a bright future, now there's just a void.

"I'm gonna miss her," said Johnson's friend, Jessi Brooks. "Work's not going to be the same. It's going to be really hard going in this weekend knowing that she's not coming."

Put on by Lychburg's YWCA chapter, the vigil was organized to start the healing process.

"The bottom line is that someone has lost their life and young boys will grow up without a mother," Linda Ellis-Williams of Lynchburg's YWCA told Your Hometown News Leader.

But this gathering was also about touting the group's mission so Jennifer Johnson's death and the deaths of countless others, will not be in vain.

"To change lives and end violence," said Williams.

Research shows that 1 in 3 women in Virginia are victims of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a victim and need help, click here.