Rally against gun violence held in Lake City hours after two shootings

Organizers were extremely frustrated to wake up to two shootings on the day of the rally
Organizers were extremely frustrated to wake up to two shootings on the day of the rally
Published: Mar. 5, 2023 at 7:19 PM EST
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Two shootings took place in Lake City Sunday morning, the same day leaders held a community meeting about gun violence.

“Any time it happens it’s frustrating,” said Lake City’s Police Chief, Gerald Butler. “These are citizens, they want to live their lives, they’re law-abiding. They don’t want to be worried about gunfire. They just want to live their lives like everyone else and we want to get back to that.”

The first shooting occurred around 11 a.m. on Northwest Alma Avenue.

Police say four people were injured and three were taken to the hospital.

About an hour and a half later, Police responded to another shooting on the other side of town.

Officers say a similar vehicle was involved in both shootings.

The organizers of the rally against gun violence spoke about the frustrations of waking up to two more shootings on the day of the event.

“It’s aggravating,” said Ronald Williams. “It’s aggravating and sometimes I feel helpless and hopeless at times because it just keeps going on, and on, and on.”

“It’s really disappointing,” said Conrad Wallace. “Disappointing. I mean you wake up on a Sunday morning getting ready to go to church or have you a nice Sunday dinner and you wake up with four guys being shot, three being life flighted out. Then on the other side of town you have someone’s house getting shot up.”

The rally was in the same neighborhood where the first shooting happened.

“This is not a hood,” said Wallace, “this is our neighborhood and we want to live peacefully within our neighborhood because we have so many kids and so many older people around here that’s walking scared.”

Lake City’s Police Chief and the Columbia county sheriff both spoke at the event.

“As everyone knows,” said Butler, “gun violence is a nationwide problem. However, even though it’s a nationwide problem we need local solutions, and I really appreciate the gateway ministerial alliance getting together...partner with Police, partner with the Sheriff’s office, and with the pastors and with the community itself to try and take care of this issue.”

Wallace and Williams say the conversations must continue and cooperation with Police must increase to put an end to the violence.

“Sometimes you kind of think ‘that shooting happened just because we are holding the event,’” said Williams. “But there’s one thing we want to say to them, ‘we’re not going to stop. We’re going to be here, we’re going to be here next week, we’re going to be here next month, and we’re going to keep talking about it until it stops.”

RELATED: Back-to-back shootings in Lake City leaves at least 4 injured

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