Community leaders talk about recent violence

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - "I was coming down the street and I heard a couple of shots and pulled over into a driveway to see what was going on."

Jay Smith riding his bike around 11 a.m. near Avenue "O" in Riviera Beach, when he heard shots fired. 

"You don't want nobody to get injured." Police say one person was rushed to the hospital. This shooting is one of many acts of violence in recent days in the city. Monday night six people were shot, one woman died. Over the weekend, a man was stabbed to death in his own car. Police say the victims were targeted. 

Pastor Phillip Dukes of Operation Restore said, "We need people to come help us join with us like Mr. Dan Callaway and the Youth Recreation Association to help us to change these streets. If you don't change these streets you're going to leave this for another generation."

He believes the entire community working with city leaders and police can make the streets safer.

"Churches have to come out. They are the moral base they have to come out and teach in the community." "We need every youth program that we have but the missing link is the domination of the streets."

We also spoke with Pastor Henry E. Green of Payne Chapel AME church.

"Until more options are created to service and uplift young people we are going to continue in this same cycle."

Pastor Green says everyone in the community needs to step in.

"To help young people stay out of a life of crime, there has be more than mentorship and leadership. Everybody from the education field to criminal justice law enforcement, religious aspects, we all have to find a way to find common ground to serve the needs of the community." He added, "We have to consistently stand up and engage with law enforcement cooperate with law enforcement. But also cooperate with each other in our own communities. Stop seeing ourselves as individuals we stop seeing ourselves as separate by religious affiliations and or age, denomination and so forth. And let's stand up for what's right and what's good."
 

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