Prayer vigil calls for healing, community action after 3rd child is shot
A prayer for peace and healing took place outside of North Memorial Hospital Tuesday evening. Two children are currently being treated for gunshot wounds there, while another child shot is being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center.
All three children were caught in the crossfire in the last two and a half weeks.
"We’ve got three babies fighting for their lives and they haven’t even lived yet," said Rev. Brian Herron, a pastor of Zion Baptist Church in North Minneapolis. "There is healing that needs to happen and there is accountability that goes along with that."
Ten-year-old Ladavionne Garrett Jr. was shot near 34th North and Morgan avenues on April 30. Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was wounded while playing with friends on Saturday along Ilion Avenue, just north of West Broadway Avenue.
On Tuesday, 6-year-old Aniya Allen was shot while riding in a car near the 3500 block of Penn Avenue North.
"The impact is indescribable to know that your child has been shot and there’s nothing you can do about it, and you’re hoping and praying that the doctors can heal them," described Herron, who knows the families affected by the violence.
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Violent crime numbers are surging. City records show there have been 187 gunshot wounds so far this year. At this point last year, there were 74.
"I never in a million years would’ve thought my daughter would be the one that this has happened to," said Raishawn Smith, Trinity’s father. "We’re praying over her every day, staying strong for her, staying hopeful."
He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she is stable. Smith described feeling anger and sadness his little girl and two other children were shot.
"It’s wrong," he said. "It’s wrong and we want to stand with all of the families that this has happened to, as well as support the community."
As families call for justice, community leaders are asking witnesses to come forward.
"We’re calling on people to be more vigilant about reporting what they’re hearing, reporting what they’re seeing," Herron said. "It’s not snitching, it’s saving lives."