Some needed a shoulder to lean on.
Others looked for answers.
Still others wondered what they could do to help prevent such a tragedy from ever repeating itself.
The Rev. Jim Hofacker, a Point Pleasant Beach resident, and Music Pastor Jerry Catney provided spiritual guidance for all at a candlelight prayer vigil, held Sunday night in Point Pleasant Beach, for the shooting that occurred Friday morning at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Amid the backdrop of the fisherman's memorial and the sound of the waves quietly thrashing in the Manasquan Inlet, Catney posed a question.
"So where do we go from here?" he asked.
"We can reach out and try to love someone else the way we love ourselves," he answered. "We can make a difference in our community."
"Look at the kids," he said, referring to groups of children huddled with candles in hand. "Do you want them to grow up in a safe place?"
Felicia Catney, 18, led the crowd in an emotional rendition of "Amazing Grace."
Following her guitar playing and singing, Jim Catney asked those in attendance to pray for the parents of the 20 children who lost their lives.
"Pray that they'll be able to get through this the best they can," he said.
Hofacker asked for prayers for the parents of each of the 20 children.
"Pray for those who are isolated and have no friends," he added.
The vigil concluded with the song, "Let There Be Peace on Earth."
"Live the words every day and every minute," said Hofacker.
The vigil was organized by Kiel Arnone, 18, a volunteer with the Point Pleasant First Aid and Emergency Squad and Point Pleasant Borough resident.
"I was lying in bed watching this unfold," Arnone said. "That's when I thought there must be something our community can do to show support."