LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – With the recent four shootings in Lafayette within the last 24 hours, in three of the shootings, females were shot. All of the shootings involved teenagers or young adults and all happened in the same area. Local pastors and activists are responding to the escalating teen shootings, calling on the public to help end gun violence.
“The incident like we had in the last 24 hours just proves to us that we are behind the times. The clock is ticking, and if we’re going to make a difference, we have to do it now,” said Bishop Alton E. Gatlin of Gethsemane Church of God in Christ.
Devon Norman, President & Director of The Village 337 says it all starts with communication. “There’s a deep-rooted issue as to why there is so much gun violence happening in our community that stems to a bigger issue that we talked about all the time, and it just goes back to the inequities, the lack of engagement of our youth.”
“When young people were left on their own without the mentorship without all of the things that they needed in order to become better citizens,” added Bishop Gatlion “There’s a chain effect, and we say this; we established this two years ago. We said this would happen, and now it is happening, and now the community is in shock,” said Norman.
Bishop Gatlin and his church are remodeling their community center for youth development. He said they want to bring back and make sure that everything from recreation to computer programs to entrepreneurs can be offered there freely to the public. “I’m more determined than ever as a pastor and a leader in the community to do all that we can to take up the slack from what has been missing from those who did not understand the needs of the Northside,” said Bishop Gatlin.
Pastor Lawrence Levy of the Freedom World Ministry is challenging a hundred men to meteor the male teengers in the Lafayette area. “The vision for moving forth and what to do is already there but do we even have 100 men that care? That’s the question”
“Is there a 100 men in the city that can put their pride aside and say I’m willing to help? Is there 100 men that care if all babies live or die?” he said. “Until we can come together no matter who you are, no matter what color we are, no matter what age we are, no matter what background we come from, no matter what we did in our past until we can come together, you ain’t going to see change.”
Lafayette Police are investigating the recent shooting. No arrests have been made. If you have information contact the police department.