An east side neighborhood, plagued by an explosion of gun violence, raised its voice Tuesday night.
Members of the First English Lutheran Church, located along Main Street, called for help from residents, city leaders and a higher power.
Rev. Bob Ward said that after six shootings in 10 days, it was time to put a spotlight on the violence.
“We do a dinner here every Thursday night where we’ll have 150-200 people,” Ward said. “We have a Saturday kids camp, Thursday night kids activities. We started doing health screenings and tutoring.”
Ward said that for all the good happening here, the evil of violence casts a long shadow.
“Lord, there is too much violence in our community,” Ward said.
Ward gathered members to pray for an end to the bloodshed.
“I just wish the violence would stop,” resident Tia Harris said. “I’m scared. I know my neighbors are scared.”
Harris said that she knows two victims of recent shootings.
“I just had a friend, I buried him on Thursday,” Harris said. “I have another friend that’s in the hospital as we speak.”
Tyshanna Carswell and her three children heard gunshots outside their home Saturday.
“I just told them it was gonna be okay, come to mommy's room,” Carswell said. “We came in our room and sat and talked. I didn't really tell them too much about what's going on, what happened. I just told them it's gonna be okay.”
Pastor Ward is determined to prove her right.
“We can do this,” Ward said. “We can make a difference together.”
Ward said that the shooting Saturday occurred behind the church. If that shooting had happened one hour earlier, it would have been during the end of kids camp, when more than a dozen children would have been in the area.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com got more information.