Linden neighbors hope to spark change as young people continue to be gunned down

Almost a quarter of the people murdered in Columbus this year are under 21.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Enough is enough.

That’s what some parents and community leaders are saying at Linden McKinley High School.

Today, they came when classes were out and just walked with the students.

Will this help stop the shootings?

They don’t know, but believe they have to do something.

Here are some numbers: There have been 89 murders in Columbus this year. Nearly a quarter of the victims were under 21.

Ten of them were under age 17, three of them under age 12, with the youngest being only one year old.

Twenty-eight of the people arrested for the killings are under 21.

“I’m an ex-gang member, you know, we kind of started this mess. So I give back,” said Vance Lockett, a local resident who was walking around the school today.

It has been a rough week in this area.

A 17-year-old was killed just a few blocks away.

Last night, there was a tearful vigil for him.

“When you see this it’s obvious that more needs to be done, and it has to be all of us” said Shannon Hardin, a Columbus City Councilman. “We can’t arrest our way out of this issue. We need a community solution and there are no easy answers, but what I promise is that city leadership is committed to finding a solution and working with the community to find it.”

So, they hope to start a movement.

Today, it included parents walking around the school and getting involved with students.

“We’re here as parents, civic organizations, churches, pastors,” said Pastor Dale Snyder of the Bethel AME Church. “Have stepped on every corner to make sure our kids can get home safely from school…we’re going to continue this plan. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon.We’ll continue to meet, we’ll post what activities on the Christmas break so that we can give our children opportunities to be in a safe place.”

They hope their movement grows.

“Not only the black clergy but the white clergy,” said Minister Kujenga Eliyay Ashe’. “The Hilltop’s had a lot of shootings.”

They believe it starts here and it starts now.

“I see a lack of love. A lot of these kids have no self-esteem and a lot of rage,” said Lockett. “We need to start loving each other more. Everyone talks about being independent, we need to be codependent.”

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