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Anti-violence organizations pleading for end to gun violence following multiple children-involved shootings

Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 10:14 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Multiple organizations held rallies and marches Saturday pleading for an end to gun violence.

Members of the Stop Killing Our Children Support Group marched through the streets of Charlotte Saturday morning calling for peace and non-violence.

”It’s too many moms, it’s too many dads having to bury their kids. You’re destroying our families,” said Stephanie Harrison the founder of Stop Killing Our Children Support Group.

Harrison also shared that the group has a support hotline. The number for the Charlotte Area Peacekeepers hotline is 980-228-9553.

Across Charlotte, members of the organization “Not One More Anti Violence Task Force” held an anti-gun violence rally.

Community members spoke to teens about the deadly dangers of crime and encouraged them to seek other solutions to their problems.

”Trying to empower trying to talk to people about conflict resolution and the things that stop gun violence,” said Not One More Chair Kyle Goodson.

On Tuesday, 14-year-old Nivia Danner was shot and killed outside of a Gastonia business. Police arrested 19-year-old Santonio Eskridge.

According to the Gastonia Police Department, detectives have obtained arrest warrants charging Eskridge with second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. Police announced that he was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon.

”Yeah I’m still going to have my breakdowns because I love my baby, I love my Niv. But you know what, she’s in a better place,” Nivia’s mother Deandura Danner said at a ceremony on Wednesday.

On Saturday Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police made a third arrest in the murder of three-year-old Asiah Figueroa. 21-year-old Kaleb Lawrence turned himself into the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Police say several people shot nearly 150 rounds into the child’s home in a drive-by shooting on September 7. 21-year-old Jacob Lanier and 21-year-old Qua’Tonio Stephens were also arrested in connection to this case.

”I’m praying that not only the community had woken up. I’m praying that this city has now said something has to be done,” said Project Bolt Community Activist Gemini Boyd.

Since the start of September, at least six children across the region have been victims of gun violence or other homicides.

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Grassroots organizations, families, and faith leaders are challenging people to talk it out and ask for help.

”We are forming different types of resources and stuff for these families to help them and try to decrease this homicide rate,” Harrison said.

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