Community says their youth need more activities to stop violence

Community says their youth need more activities to stop violence

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - It has been nearly a week since a double shooting on Evansville’s southside and there are still no arrests.

Late last Thursday, police say someone shot two people on South Morton Street.

A 14-year-old boy is okay, but 41-year old Sheree Phifer spent days in the hospital in critical condition.

Police say detectives are still following leads and neighbors say they spoke with Phifer’s family, who expect her to recover.

What was once a busy street where kids played, is now quiet. Neighbors say since the shootings, nothing has been the same.

“To see all of the gun violence that’s happening in this area is frightening. You don’t know if these kids are going to live or make it another day,” said Mother Against Senseless Violence member, Mariama Wilson.

What seems an endless cycle of violence, making parents worried for the future of their families.

“Our kids are supposed to bury us. So it’s difficult whenever we lose a young life. Because it’s senseless, and it’s usually because of something that has no merit whatsoever,” said Memorial Baptist Minister of Justice William Payne.

Now neighbors are standing up, asking questions, and making plans.

“Whatever we’re doing now isn’t working. We just feel like as a community we need to do better,” said Wilson. “We as a community, as parents, we ought to be doing something ourselves these are our kids dying in the street.”

“Where did they get the guns? Where are these guns coming from? How are they so accessible? What can we do to try and stop it?” asked Payne.

Neighbors are now calling for everyone to rally together to create change for their neighborhoods.

“We try to give them the opportunity to make better decisions. The reason why we have certain programs is to try and get them to make better decisions for themselves,” said Payne.

Mariama Wilson, the founder of MASK in Evansville, will be holding a meeting Sunday June 9 to brainstorm ideas for how the community can come together to stop violence and give kids something to do and to live for.

The meeting will be at the Central Library at 3:00 p.m. in the large group room.

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