Durham community takes stand against gun violence

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens of neighbors, police and local officials gathered Wednesday at the Oxford Manor, part of the Durham Housing Authority to take a stand against violence.

The event was organized by the group, A Chance to Change. 

In less than 24 hours this week, two people, a 9-year-old boy, and 18-year-old man were shot and killed in Durham. Z’yon Person, 9, was going to get a snow cone with his family Sunday night when he was shot and killed.

“They have a right to live and to see past 9. Just like I did,” Kennisha Freeman, a neighbor, and mother said.

“My 13-year-old who wants to ride his bike, he can’t come outside. My twins everybody. I had a bullet go through my daughter’s room and out my room,” Natasha Devine, a neighbor, and mother said.

Freeman and Devine live in Oxford Manor or its better known, Bragg Town. They said they fear for their children’s safety.

“My 13-year-old goes to the bus stop in the mornings for school, they shooting right there. So he doesn’t even want to go to the bus stop,” Devine said.

That’s why she and so many others came together. 

“We’re here in this part of town, there is a current beef going on, so we’re trying to be in the way. We’re here so if you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it in front of us,” Robert Belcher, the founder of A Chance 2 Change said.

Durham police officers stood by, helping out in whatever way they could. 

CBS 17 asked Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead about the concerns. 

“That’s unacceptable. I appreciate them being smart and taking care of their little ones but to me it’s unacceptable. We have to do a better do,” Sheriff Birkhead said.

Neighbors said the event was an important first step. 

“I’m glad that there are people out here who want to do something for this neighborhood. For the sake of the kids,” Devine said.

A Chance 2 Change says they plan to hold these events weekly.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Z’yon’s family. 

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