Shooting follows rally to stop Camden violence

CAMDEN - December 5, 2011

It was shortly after 8:30 p.m. when the shooting occurred at a convenience store on the corner of North 27th and Pierce streets.

Four people were shot.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other three were taken to Cooper University Hospital.

Two are listed in stable condition. The third was shot multiple times and is listed in critical condition.

The shootout took place just a few hours after a large gathering outside City Hall calling for an end to the violence in Camden.

The rally was organized after the shooting death of a young man named Juwan Gideon last evening.

But Juwan's mother, Lamika Gideon, says she wants more than an end to the violence, she wants her son back.

"They took his life for no reason. This was a good kid. This was a good guy," Gideon said.

It's been a turbulent year for Camden.

Nearly half the police force was laid off back in January amid a budget crisis.

Many of them have since been rehired, but it has not been enough to keep the city from experiencing its bloodiest year since 2008 when 55 people were murdered.

Camden officials say stemming the violence remains a top priority.

"Obviously it is a concern and no one has a better concern for this than Mayor [Dana] Redd. Since she came on board, she's been nonstop trying to find ways to improve public safety," Camden spokesperson Robert Corrales said.

Meantime, Lamika Gideon has message for anyone who knows the person behind the murder of her son.

"My son's death was wrong. It wasn't supposed to happen. My son was loved," Gideon said.

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