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Kanye West Visits Dayton, Ohio to Host Church Service in Wake of Mass Shooting

Rapper Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, visited Dayton, Ohio three weeks after a mass shooting there left nine people dead and 27 injured. West performed his Sunday Service at RiverScape Metro Park in an unannounced surprise for residents. The special event was live-streamed as well.

On Sunday morning, Kardashian tweeted a link to where the performance was streamed. “In support of the victims and survivors of the Dayton mass shooting,” the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star added.

The stream showed Kardashian and West's eldest children, 6-year-old North and 3-year-old Saint, at the event. Members of the community affected by the shooting were also there. According to PEOPLE, comedian Dave Chappelle gave an emotional speech to the attendees. Chapelle, who lives in Ohio, scheduled a sold-out benefit concert for Sunday night.

“Dayton, today the whole world is looking at you,” Chappelle said, adding that the city is still standing after going "through a tough time."

“We’re still strong and the only way — the best way, that we can honor our fallen is by getting up better than we were before. We will not let those people die in vain," the comedian said, before thanking West for showing his support.

Chappelle called his benefit block party "Gem City Shine," a reference to Dayton's nickname. He described the show as a "benefit concert to reclaim the Oregon District," where the shooting took place.

"As Dave Chappelle always reminds us... Let’s make a memory together! Refrain from using your cell phone camera or video recorder and just enjoy your experience," reads a note on the event's Facebook page.

On Aug. 4, a gunman opened fire outside a bar in Dayton's Oregon District, killing nine people within 30 seconds. One of the victims was the gunman's sister, 22-year-old Morgan Betts. The gunman, 24-year-old Connor Betts, was killed by police.

The shooting happened less than 24 hours after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman killed 22 people and injured 24 others. The alleged gunman in that case is now in police custody.

West previously only hosted Sunday Service performances for his famous friends, but has slowly begun to perform them for bigger audiences. In April, about 50,000 people flocked to see the service on Easter Sunday at Coachella, where West was joined by a choir to sing gospel songs and his own hits.

"It’s just music; there’s no sermon," Kardashian told ELLE about the services. "It’s definitely something he believes in — Jesus — and there’s a Christian vibe. But there’s no preaching. It’s just a very spiritual Christian experience."

Kardashian said the services are open to people of all faiths.

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"Kourtney’s best friends come all the time and they’re Muslim. All my Jewish friends came on Sunday; they loved it," the reality star said. "Everyone that comes understands it’s just a really healing experience with an amazing choir, and amazing messages about love to start off your week."

Photo credit: Getty Images

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