COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The South Linden community has been ravaged by so much violence.
On Wednesday night, community members held a vigil for 17-year-old Jeremiah Harper, who was shot and killed Monday on Duxberry Avenue near Hamilton Avenue.
His mother so distraught tonight she could barely speak. His little sister is now without a brother.
“There’s too many kids getting shot out here nowadays,” said Serenity Harper sister. You all need to fix this.”
Over the last week, several young males have been victims of gun violence. Columbus police said there have been three shootings in the last three days involving boys between 11 and 17 years old.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Keisha Harper, Jeremiah’s cousin. ”They’re just gone and they’re not here anymore. We don’t want to just keep burying kids over and over.
“These are our babies, these are our legacies, they’re supposed to be here when we’re gone and we’re burying them instead and it’s not fair.”
The situation has become so volatile that city hall, the schools, police and others met this afternoon to discuss how to reign in the violence. But how does Columbus stop the killing over Christmas break?
“What our number one priority, over these next two days and in this Christmas break is safety for our young people,” said Shannon Hardin, a Columbus City Councilman. “We’re going to be working with the city schools, were going to be working with the Columbus Police Department and we’re going to be working with the APPS (Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success) Program to make sure that we’re out here and that we’re being a support to the neighborhood.”
Something, they believe, must happen.
“It’s so sad that all these kids is leaving the way they are,” said Cynthia Patterson, a neighbor who was in attendance at the vigil. “When we was coming up we didn’t go through this, we didn’t use guns and knives. We fought and we was friends the next day.”