Durham community gathers Saturday for the 29th Annual Vigil Against Violence

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – So far in 2021, there has been a 30 percent increase in shooting deaths in Durham.
It’s something the community, and families of those who’ve been killed, don’t want to see continue.

On Saturday morning, a group led by the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham held their 29th Annual Vigil Against Violence.

In front of a quilt, with the names of more than 900 victims of violence in Durham, they prayed for change.

“Your children are supposed to bury you, you’re not supposed to bury your children,” Michelle Hall said, who lost her son, Tevares, on Oct. 18, 2018. “I would not want any other family to go through this.”

But since the start of the new year, 34 people have been gunned down and killed in the city.

Additionally, in 2020, 24 people were shot and killed.

People at the vigil told CBS 17 they’re worried things are going to get worse.

“Most of these young people losing their lives haven’t even had the chance to live their life yet,” David Johnson said. 

He said there are a lot of factors that go into the rise of violence.

“Poverty, lack of resources, jobs, you name it,” he said. 

He added that COVID made things worse and people at the vigil believe police need to do more.

“I understand there is a shortage (of officers), but they need to work on trying to hire more. And maybe have a special task force,” Hall said.

Hall told CBS 17 the fact that such a diverse group of people came to the vigil to help families grieve those who were killed in 2020, means perhaps there’s hope for the future.

“Maybe we can all stand together to come up with some kind of an idea to stop gun violence,” she said. “It’s truly, truly out of control and it’s affecting a lot of people of all races and and ages.”

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