COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – After a violent weekend in Columbus, community members are calling for peace.
Between Saturday and Monday morning, four people were shot and killed in the city, and even though none of those shootings happened in the Linden section of Columbus, community members there are calling to put the guns down.
The east side residents came together for walks to end violence throughout the spring and summer last year, and the year before that. And while the first walk this year didn’t happen due to storms rolling through central Ohio, they still made sure the community knew they were there.
Monday’s rain and cooler weather are not stopping Terri Davis from calling for peace.
“It has to stop,” Davis said. “It’s going to be a collaborative effort of everybody to finally put an end to this senseless gun violence.”
She lives in Linden and supports the local Stop the Violence group.
“I want my grandchildren to live in a safe area where they feel safe to go out and play, go to the park and play without fear of being shot,” Davis said.
Monday’s walk was already scheduled. They didn’t walk around local neighborhoods like usual because of the weather, but given what happened over the weekend, organizers wanted to make sure the group still had a presence.
“Because it seems like right now in the city, everything, it’s like intense and I feel like, ‘Man, we need to get out here and get the message across,’” said Derrick Russel, founder of the Linden Community Columbus Ohio Stop the Violence group.
Group members stood in the 1500 block of Cleveland Avenue in their new bright orange shirts, the back of which reads, “Put down the guns, end gun violence;” the front of the shirt reads, “We are Columbus,” because the group said its message is important for the whole city.
“We’ve got to get everybody involved,” Davis said. “Rome wasn’t built in a day and one man can’t lead gun violence to an end. Going to have to take a community effort.”
The group plans to be out spreading its message twice a month throughout the summer. It also offers food, clothing, and job resources to those in need.