DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Fifty people. That’s how many lives were lost to gun violence in Durham County in 2022.
At Elizabeth Street United Methodist Church on Saturday, people gathered to grieve and to pray for a better future.
They read out loud the names of the victims.
“It’s important that we keep these young people, as well as all people, [their] names alive and into the community,” said Sidney Brodie, a local activist and former Durham 911 dispatcher.
The vigil against violence has been going on now for 31 years, and it’s a grim tradition the community doesn’t want to have to do anymore.
So far in 2023, 33 people have been shot and killed across Durham County.
“We have to realize that this is not letting up and [it won’t] unless we get actively involved,” said Brodie.
Advocates and local families are working for a better future.
While there’s no one solution, there are ways that they said parents and kids can make a difference: by changing the content they consume both on TV and on social media.
“We have to encourage our young people to get involved in their own rescue,” explained Brodie. “Somehow, we have to get it over to them about the seriousness of the programming and what’s going on in our young people’s minds.”
Durham Police told CBS17 the number of shootings is up this year: there have been 690 in the city, compared to 585 from this time last year.