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'Something has to be done': Fort Pierce residents 'disheartened' by gun violence

'To change what they value to the point that they begin to value life again,' Dr. Anthony Sanders, says
Posted at 12:37 AM, May 26, 2024

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — This Fort Pierce community is hurting after seeing three gun violence related incidents in the last week.

“This song has been something that has devastated the community for many many years and right now it’s time to just make some noise,“ said Dr. Anthony Sanders, pastor at Holy Vow International Ministries.

The most recent shooting was early Saturday morning at a gathering in an open area at the 1800 block of Avenue G.

Fort Pierce police said five people were injured by gunfire, ranging in ages from 15 to 20. They were treated at an area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

"Each and every time, it’s more and more disheartening and we have to come up with types of solutions," Fort Pierce community member Lisa Prince-Mobley said.

"Something has to be done in this community, it really has to be," added Nikki White, the mother of a shooting victim. "There has to be something for these kids to get into, you know some kind of deterrent."

Dr Anthony Sanders pastor at Holy Vow International Ministries Fort Pierce May 2024
Holy Vow International Ministries pastor Dr. Anthony Sanders is hoping to bring about a culture change in the city of Fort Pierce.

White knows all too well the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.

“My daughter Nikkitia Bryant, she was shot and killed right here at 13th Street park,” White said. “My whole life has changed, you know, the depression has set in really bad.”

She and other community members plan to attend a meeting Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Holy Vow International Ministries on Avenue D to discuss ways to stop the violence.

"If you're about doing something in this community to stop our children and loved ones from being killed, you need to be here," Sanders said. "So, we're expecting to really create something that we can bring about a culture change in this little city."

Sanders is also calling on city leaders to attend Sunday's meeting in an effort to join forces.

“We need them, we want to partner with the police, we need neighborhood watches again,” he said. “To change the culture, to change what they value to the point that they begin to value life again.”