Charlotte reaches 70 homicides in 2019, Charlotte mayor speaks about ways to end the violence

Mayor speaks on Charlotte's gun violence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte police are investigating the 70th life taken in Charlotte so far just in 2019.

Saturday afternoon, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles was out in the community speaking about about how to stop that violence.

The event Lyles spoke at was the grand opening of Gilmore Mortuary.

The mortuary owner, Henry Gilmore, says they deal with death but say the violence leading to that in Charlotte has to stop -- so they joined with the mayor to try and help.

“When I first opened this business I thought I need to think of someone that will help the people,” said Gilmore.

Henry Gilmore did that by giving away a $5,000 dollar funeral at the grand opening of his mortuary.

“People is not going to stop dying, death is going to happen,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore says that’s the business he’s in.

However, he said the 70 lives cut short in our city is a different story.

He held a 'stop the killing’ campaign at the opening of his business.

“The senseless murdering on the streets of Charlotte has gotta stop, we want people to live a long life, die a normal death but not die prematurely from a gun shot,” said Gilmore.

The latest victim of a gunshot was 19-year-old Sebastian Acosta, found dead on Friday night on Amity Pointe Road in the Hickory Grove area.

“We’ve got to determine what kind of place we want to be and be in charge of it. We’ve got to reach out to people having difficulty and prevent them from using violence,” said Lyles.

Mayor Lyles shared this message as eyes closed in prayer and music rang out at the grand opening.

“This came about because I was looking at the killing here in the city of Charlotte and it’s outrageous and it’s got to stop,” said Gilmore.

“Everyday that I wake up and hear the first report on the number of people that have been killed in our city, it’s heartbreaking for me. It just really makes me want to work harder,” said Lyles.

Mayor Lyles said she’s working with businesses in the community like the Gilmore’s to create more economic opportunity and with police because she says everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods.

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