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Concerning trend of rising gun violence in Gainesville brings residents and leaders together

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 1:08 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Leaders from Gainesville met with the public to address the concerning trend of rising gun violence. More than 100 people packed the Thomas Center and many more over ZOOM to find out ways to help combat gun violence. This meeting coming one week after the mass shooting at the American Legion Post in Gainesville.

People from all across North Central Florida are willing to invest time to ensure this does not become a reoccurring pattern.

“I am concerned about the direction of the youth. Without any direction or who we are passing the baton to it is very important for our next generations to know how important they are and how important they are to us,” explained Dominique Revell who is a father of two.

RELATED STORY: Two more teens arrested in American Legion party shooting

One woman who lives in Putnam County and has two granddaughters felt the need to come out.

“I want to make a difference for their lives. I’m 71 so for them I want them to have a better future, than what I may have experienced in the past,” said Roxalina Rawls. “My concern is to pass on the knowledge that I have, experience to help others.”

RELATED STORY: WATCH: Video obtained exclusively by TV20 shows the scene inside the American Legion Post as shots are fired

She believes an important topic that was addressed at the meeting was respect.

“I think that is a major key in terms of learning to get along with others,” explained Rawls.

Revell is also a dance teacher and works at summer youth programs said this meeting couldn’t have come at a better time. This information is something he thinks he can implement in his classes.

“I think what’s really important is as long as we show that there is a positive outlet for them to release and have mentors or just even friends to talk to that feel they have a safe environment. That will decrease a lot of the issues that are going on today,” said Revell.

RELATED STORY: Teenage survivor of the American Legion Post shooting recounts the night that forever changed her

GPD Chief Tony Jones was at the meeting along with other city leaders and activists.

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