Visiting police chaplain offers comfort and solace for the people of Virginia Beach

Posted at 1:15 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 17:31:27-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - In preparation for the rain and severe storms expected to head our way, the Virginia Beach Police Department, along with city employees, put up a tent to protect the items honoring the 12 lives lost.

But, they weren't the only officials showing respect for this community - now turned family- in mourning.

"I pray with people, I hold them. I listen to them. I let them decompress and try to let it out because a lot of people here are hurting pretty badly," said Chaplain Bob Ossler.

Ossler is a chaplain who traveled all the way from Florida. He said he's here just to comfort and offer solace to the people of Hampton Roads.

He said there are never enough chaplains for a traumatic experience like this.

"I try to come and work with the civilians. My specialty is with fire [personnel] and EMS and police, but they're already covered. If I see them, I'll talk to them and see how they're doing. But, civilians really need to pray and hold somebody and share their feelings," said Chaplain Ossler.

Ossler said this has been his fifth shooting of the year. He said he wants people to feel comforted and encouraged.

"The reality is... there's some pretty bad evil in the world. There's some sick people out there. I do pray that this is the last one. I wish there was never a first one," said Chaplain Ossler.

When it comes to the grieving families and close friends of the 12 victims, Ossler has a message: To look up above and pray.

"A lot of people here, including myself, sometimes will blame God. We get angry with God, but God is there to put His arms out to hold us and to let us know He's there to comfort us," said Ossler.

There to comfort during a time where so many need it the most.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.