Gadsden County religious leaders hold a ‘Stop the Violence Rally’ following a string of shootings

Community comes together following recent gun violence
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 11:56 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Quincy Police Department arrested twenty-three year old Arderrious Smith in connection to the shooting deaths of two young adults Monday.

20 year-old Auadre Kirkland was killed on august 21st and then 18 year old Ashanti Lewis was murdered 5 days later.

On Tuesday night, community leaders hosted a rally in hopes of putting an end to that violence.

Tuesday’s Stop the Violence rally in Gadsden county had one goal in mind, creating a dialogue that will spark real solutions to create change in the community.

The rally seemed to be even more necessary after the recent string of shooting deaths in the county. Something organizers say they never could’ve fathomed.

“Three weeks ago we met to do a rally here and we plan to do one in Quincy but we planned to start here and we had no idea that the rash of violence would take place in our Gadsden county like it has,” explained Gadsden County Sheriff Office Chaplain Jimmy Salters.

Chaplain Salters says speaking to parents may be the key.

“Everything originates with the parents knowing and becoming responsible and then they can pass things down to the children and then our community can grow and be what it should be,” Salters expressed.

Gadsden County Commissioner Jeff Moore says he wants change to occur.

“We do have to do something to curb the violence,” said Moore.

Moore says he feels churches, schools and parents should help teach the youth responsibility.

“This stems from youth and I think the biggest think is just teaching responsibility and that there are consequences to your actions and you should just think before you act,” shared Moore.

But those in attendance still have hope for the future.

“I walk away with greater enthusiasm actually that’s something can be done and that this is very positive thing and a needed thing and more of it actually,” Moore exclaimed.

Chaplain Salters says he plans to have another rally in Quincy in the coming weeks.