ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “Five people getting shot … We have all this violence happening,” John Rouse with Rise Up Rochester said on Friday’s deadly shootings. Last week marked 17 homicides in the city for 2020, and Rouse said he wants solid solutions to cease the violence.
He wants to bring prayer back to the streets, especially during June, Gun Violence Awareness Month. “I’m sounding out, anyone with a good heart, to come out and help us,” he says.
Sirena Cotton lost her son when he was just 16. She is hoping a dialogue can ensue to wake up the neighborhood. She says events like this help to keep his memory alive. “A lot of people are saying no one is doing anything about the homicides, well okay, let’s talk about it,” Cotton said.
“Each day is a roller coaster effect. You have your good days and bad days,” says Retha Rogers who lost her 23-year-old son in a shooting. She says coming together and sharing grief is the first step. “Once a community comes together, we can make a change,” she says.
A change so that girls like 11-year-old Jaylyn Wilder won’t have to grow up without a dad. Jaylyn says this time around Father’s Day is particularly hard. “I wish I could bring him back and talk to him,” she says.
Cotton says the solution for ending the violence isn’t with Rochester City Hall and the police. It starts here. “We have to control our community. We have to be the voices in our community,” she says.
Rouse says this Thursday there will be a prayer event and discussion at the Liberty Pole in downtown at 6 p.m.