ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Rev. Lewis Stewart held a press conference Saturday afternoon after a mass shooting that killed two people and injured 14 others shortly after midnight in the City of Rochester.
“There’s been trauma in our young people in our race for centuries — trauma brought on by slavery which still exists,” The Reverend said. “When you are in a sense programmed mentally to hate yourself, then you begin to devalue the lives of others because those others in society devalue your life.”
Stewart said clergy in the area need to be out on the streets, trying to reach the youth of the community to change the mentality before crisis happens, not in response to it. “The clergy must be much more forceful in getting out there not only when something happens … but we must get out there each and every day and talk to our young people.”
“I think with the confluence of a lot of different issues going on, police killings of black people, urban violence, COVID-19, people are seeing life as meaningless and they need a sense of hope. As the people of God I believe that we should be giving people a sense of hope.”
In her statement, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Pathways to Peace has been on the ground, working to help the victims and their families through the trauma.
At this time, there have been no arrests or no indication of motive for the crime. Anybody with information regarding the shooting, or has video or photographs from the party is asked to email them to MajorCrimes@cityofrochester.gov and call 911.