Treasure Coast Bengals march for end to violence that killed team members

Efforts to stop gun violence in Fort Pierce continued Saturday, with a march and rally through the city.

 

Organizers of the march say it was one of the largest marches ever organized in Fort Pierce, bringing out hundreds of people from the community.

 

This comes after gun violence continues to be an in issue in parts of  the city.

 

Community leaders, commissioners, police, and members of the Guardian Angels from across the country lead the march from the Pop Warner Football Field to Pioneer Park.

 

The Treasure Coast Bengals football team also helped organize the march.

 

This year, two of the team's players were killed after being shot on the streets in Fort Pierce.

 

Now the team is taking action to prevent any more gun violence.

 

"It's hurt the team tremendously. It's like losing a family member because we've been together for so long," said team owner, John Chandler, frustrated that his players are still finding themselves in the middle of gunfire.

 

Chandler says the purpose of the football program is to attract gang members, and keep them off the streets, hoping to change their ways. Most of the players were former gang members.

 

"They used to be in different gangs and now we're all on one field, nobody's fighting, nobody's shooting," Chandler said. "We aren't going to let it go until we find out who did it." 

 

The team marched Saturday with hopes of encouraging people to speak out to police with information about crimes.

 

Coach Warren Kelly says the team also plays a vital role in deterring the youth from joining gangs.

 

"All these young kids don't have role models out here, you know, so it helps them."

 

No arrests have been made in either of the shootings that killed two team members.

 
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