HOUSTON- Local activists, pastors, and parents of children killed by gunfire gathered to speak out against what they are calling “an atmosphere of disregard for the lives of children.”
Community activist Deric Muhammad organized the meeting that took place at the SHAPE Community Center near downtown Houston. They say they are tired of children in our city being killed or seriously injured by senseless gunfire.
Parents of Jazmine Barnes and Kamryn Jones, both children who were killed by gunfire, spoke out at the meeting, pleading for change.
Seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes was buried earlier this year after shots were fired into the car she was riding in. Police say it was a case of mistaken identity.
Just last month, another case of mistaken identity took the life of 11-year-old Kamryn Jones. That time, suspects allegedly pulled up in front of his family’s Channelview home and started shooting. One of the shots killed Kamryn while he was sleeping.
“I had a little bit of hope that it was just a freak accident that happened to me. That’s not the case. It seems like its becoming to be a problem in our city. We do definitely need to cease fire and just make a change and just stop, stop, stop killing kids," said Kamryn's father, Kenyatta Jones.
We can’t forget the tragic death of Maleah Davis, or the 2-year-old girl injured recently in the middle of a shootout, or T.J. West Jr., the two year old killed during a robbery home invasion in Spring last week.
It’s something most of us can agree on… that list is far too long.
“Brothers and sisters, if this does not give us pause or a cause to want to do something, then I don’t know what will because the greatest indictment on any community is its inability to protect its children," said Muhammad.
Rapper Paul Wall was also among those speaking out at the event. He says he doesn’t know the answer to all of this, but says a little more understanding of each other can go a long way.
“We all have to look within and stop saying 'Oh, they killed that person,'" he said. "We have to look and realize that these are all our family members. Whether we know them or not, whether we like them or not, whether we agree with what they say and think or not. This is our city and we have to take it upon ourselves to do something.”