Leaders continue speaking out against gun violence after Northeast Gainesville mass shooting

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The amount of shootings and youth that have been laid to rest due to gun violence is overwhelming for leaders in Gainesville but one activist was not shocked about Sunday night’s shooting that wounded four and took the life of another.

“I’m tired and it’s extremely disheartening but not surprising,” activist Chanae Jackson said. “There has to be a culture change.”

The community has mourned the loss of 13-year-old Maliyah Godwin in April and now two mass shootings in one month has Gainesville activists very concerned.

Related story: Community members aim to address gun violence against kids

At the end of June a shooting at American Legion left four wounded and one dead almost two weeks ago and we are looking at the same thing once again.

“They are somebody’s brothers, sisters, daughters, sons that are being victimized,” Eighth District State Attorney’s Office’s Chief Investigator Darry Lloyd said.

He said it’s exactly the same for suspects involved.

While victims from Sunday night’s shooting are over 18 years old, Jackson said it’s time for those who want change to stop only talking to each other and create an open space for troubled youth to vent.

Related story: Gainesville shooting leaves victim in hospital

“Be more deliberate and more intentional about engaging the youth in our particular community to figure out why the culture is the way that is and completely understand their trauma and that they’re not statistics,” Jackson said. “They are actually people who have experienced trauma.”

Lloyd said anyone can start the conversation but you have to keep going.

“It’s going to take all of that to get it done,” Lloyd added. “Not just one thing, not one meeting, not one person but it takes everybody to get these things done.”

Jackson encouraged everyone to continue that conversation with neighbors

“Go in your community, identify five youths and five families that look like they might be at risk and have a very courageous conversation with them,” Jackson added.

Jackson will also be holding discussions every second Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the YMCA located at 5201 NW 34th Boulevard, Gainesville, FL 32605 to be proactive instead of reactive and combat the senseless gun violence.

Jackson has more resources to combat the senseless gun violence on her website.

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