Neighbors, Community Leaders Respond To Recent City Violence

Neighbors, Community Leaders Respond To Recent City Violence

There have been 27 homicides so far, in 2013. Of the 27 cases, 13 are still unsolved. City residents have seen people gunned down just feet way from their homes, and they are hoping there will be some solutions to the violence.
Shelaine Davis was home when shots rang out on Pullman Avenue Wednesday morning, "it's a part of you, you never get rid of that emptiness, because I don't feel safe here," explained Davis.

Davis says she lived in fear until 26 year old Marcus Freeman was taken into custody a day later, "it's something in the back of your mind, I don't know, I get off work at night so I didn't know if he was going to come back, and you know, retaliate against us speaking out."

Shelaine didn't know the victims in Wednesday's shooting but her life has been effected by gun violence, "It happened to my son in 2012, son was gunned down and shot and he became a paraplegic," said Davis, "and what it does is it reopens old wounds."
The violence hasn't stopped.  Thursday night a 22 year old man was murdered on Lyell Avenue, "it's something that we as a mid sized city shouldn't have to deal with," explained Victor Saunders, Director of Pathways to Peace, "or you would think we should have to deal with, this isn't Chicago or anything like that."

Pathways to Peace tracks shootings and homicides to focus its efforts, "most of the young people we deal with have either been an assailant or a victim in a violent crime."  Pathways to Peace reaches out to gang members to help get them off the streets, "some solutions are going back to having some different jobs and things available to individuals who are feeling destitute and feeling that they have nothing else to live for, and also I think the community buying into the fact that I think there's something that we all can do."
Shelaine is hoping Pathways to Peace efforts will work, "if we don't find a solution to these children and teenagers that are carrying guns, your children and my grandchildren are not going to have a chance."

Pathways to Peace is paged whenever a shooting or stabbing victim under the age of 21 is admitted to Strong Hospital.  Leaders say that allows them to reach out to the people who are at the center of the violence.
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