Community members aim to address gun violence against kids

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) -TV20 spoke with Deputy Chief Investigator for the Eighth District State Attorney’s office, Darry Lloyd, about three separate instances of gun violence against middle school-aged kids throughout Alachua county that happened in 2021 and he says this problem is becoming a pattern.

“All these kids are what we consider pre-teens,” said Lloyd.

13-year-old Maliyah Godwin was killed in Majestic Oaks Apartments in late April. A 12-year-old was left with gunshot wounds in Holly Heights Apartments in late June. 13-year-old Christopher Scott died Wednesday after being shot in the head during the American Legion shooting also in late June, are just three examples of kids falling victim to gun violence in Alachua County.

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

“They’re just starting to live,” added Lloyd. “And you have to give condolences to all the families, particularly, from yesterday, the Scott family and the loss of their loved one. But as a community, we have to help figure this thing out how we can make ourselves whole and help our kids out.”

The tragedies are sparking action within the community to address the issue. Arrests have been made by Gainesville Police and Alachua County Sheriff’s deputies in connection to the American Legion and Holly Heights shootings in Alachua county.

“And although we can go in and prosecute a case and our attorneys go in and they litigate and the community will find someone guilty of a crime and a judge will come in and say hey, you know, I’m going to sentence you,” mentioned Lloyd. “But does that by itself make us whole? And the answer is no, we have to give back to the community response of how do we deal with this.”

Lloyd said the state attorney’s office is waiting on Gainesville Police to start the prosecution process for those arrested in the American Legion shooting but in the meantime, community members are gathering at the 10th Avenue Church of Christ in East Gainesville.

Watch the meeting online here:

Meeting ID: 788 6800 7241 Passcode: Mt9c6j

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