CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Through the first six weeks of 2021, there have already been 11 homicides reported in the city of Charlotte.
On Wednesday, Mothers of Murdered Offspring held a candlelight vigil for 16-year-old Khalil Sifford. The teen was shot and killed Saturday night in east Charlotte.
“We got to step in. We’ve have to let them know this is unacceptable, this is not the way. If nobody has never told them this is not the way, somebody needs to,” said MOMO administrator Lisa Crawford.
The teen’s murder added to a growing number of homicides this year.
“Until we decrease these numbers, a mother is going to continue to bury her child when she doesn’t have to,” said Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden.
There have been vigils, protests and calls to change, yet crime has still impacted Charlotte’s neighborhoods. What happens next?
McFadden says consistency is necessary year-round. In addition to programs, mentorship and commitment is also needed.
“Taking our time and talking with our young folks, teenagers and really connecting with them. Not only when there is violence but connect with daily and build those bridges we will see a decrease in homicides,” McFadden said.
Positive images and continuing the partnership between law enforcement and the community, another step in stopping the violence before its too late.
“Too many. Its too often, too much,” added Crawford.
For those who find themselves in trouble, the sheriff says to call him.
“Come and see me before you pull the trigger. I understand you’re upset, mad, understand you’ve been disrespected, I understand everything that has happened in your community. But if you can call me and let me have one conversation before you make a decision to take someone’s life...give it one day,” he said. “Even though this person has done something to you or something has happened, can you give me five minutes of the conversation to talk about it before you make that ultimate life changing decision.”