Marchers: End gun violence in Miami - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Marchers: End gun violence in Miami

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Marchers at the Call-A-Pastor Peace and Justice Walk. Marchers at the Call-A-Pastor Peace and Justice Walk.
Marchers pause outside the Liberty City market where Pastor Ken Johnson was fatally shot. Marchers pause outside the Liberty City market where Pastor Ken Johnson was fatally shot.
Latisha Thompson Latisha Thompson
Regina Gardner Regina Gardner
The Rev. Billy Strange, Jr. The Rev. Billy Strange, Jr.

MIAMI (WSVN) -- Hundreds of concerned citizens took to the streets Saturday demanding an end to senseless violence in one South Florida community.

"I have to cry sometime," sang the marchers as they walked down Northwest 15th Avenue and through the Liberty Square community. The message of the Call-A-Pastor Peace and Justice Walk: Murders and all violent crimes in the streets of Miami need to stop.

"There's too much bloodshed in our community. We're basically bringing awareness," said the Rev. Billy Strange, Jr. of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City.

The march started at Miami Northwestern Senior High School and ended at Strange's church. Most marchers wore red, which symbolizes all of the lives that have been tragically lost.

Among the marchers was Latisha Thompson, whose 18-year-old daughter, Tiarra Grant, was fatally shot Dec. 1, 2013, near Northwest 12th Parkway and 65th Street in Liberty City. "It has not changed. It has not gotten better at all. It has gotten worse," said Thompson.

Also in the crowd was Regina Gardner. On March 19, her stepdaughter, 17-year-old Keimouria Gardner, was shot by a stray bullet at Soar Park, located on Northwest 83rd Street and First Avenue in Northwest Miami-Dade. "This march is about the victims. Not one or two victims, but all victims," said Regina.

The marchers warned there will be more victims if measures are not taken to bring about change. Some called for more police officers, whereas others said more needs to be done to steer children away from a culture of violence.

The march paused for prayers outside City Market, the Liberty City convenience store where Ken Johnson, assistant pastor at Power, Faith and Deliverance Ministries in Miami, was gunned down July 10 after two young men ripped off his chain. The suspects, 19-year-old Tyreke Desire and 20-year-old Larry Flowers, were arrested and are currently facing several charges, including armed robbery and first-degree murder.


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