LIMA — So far in 2020, there have been four homicides in Lima. Three died Feb. 4 at Levels Lounge at 122 E. North St.
Killed were Terrell McGraw, Devontae Upshaw and Timothy White. Police continue to look for Deontray Forrest, who is wanted for suspicion of murder.
Tuesday night at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church there was an effort to discuss ways to stop the violence. Several preachers spoke out about the problem but offered few concrete solutions other than “getting the church to come together” and “trust in God.”
The evening had the flavor of a church service, similar to two other events in Lima over the last year as a response to fatal shootings.
Around 50 people attended the event, which was organized by Derry Glenn, sixth ward Lima councilman, and David Kelly, pastor of the church.
“We’re going to take our city back,” said Glenn.
Glenn said we need to get inside of the mind of someone who might turn to gun violence.
“What made you want to pick that gun up, you know, to shoot because you’re on drugs or alcohol? How can we help you fix this problem?” said Glenn.
A variety of topics were discussed including getting information out there about family programs that are available, getting churches involved and getting adults placed in jobs.
Glenn wants to reach the city’s youth to help stop the cycle of violence.
“You know, put down your gun, if I need to help, I’ll help you. Everybody got to come out and do this,” said Glenn. “If we don’t help them they’re going to turn around (and turn to violence).”
Kelly said they want feedback on how to deal with the problem.
“We want to hear from the community, and we want to come up with some ideas,” said Kelly. “Everybody is connected one way or another and it’s not the LPD’s problem — it is the whole community’s problem.”
Kelly believes drugs are the prime reason behind gun violence.
“That’s what drugs really lead to, all this — broken families. Just hurting — everybody hurting,” Kelly added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.