Philadelphia Community Groups Address Surge In Gun Violence Over the Weekend

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A weekend of violence felt all across the country striking a nerve hard here in Philadelphia.

"As a survivor of gun violence, someone whose lost a friend to gun violence, lost several students to gun violence, I recognize this as a symptom of a much larger issue," ECO Foundation Founder Kyle Morris said.

Kyle "The Conductor" is a gun violence survivor who runs an anti-violence program for youth known as the ECO Foundation.

He says a big reason from the uptick speaks to unemployment and frustration from the pandemic.

"Part of the solution is to have a discussion with all the stakeholders and show we're losing on both sides here," Morris said.

Seven people were killed and 31 people were shot in one weekend just here in Philadelphia. There were also alarming numbers in cities like New York where 10 people were killed, 48 people shot and in Chicago where 14 people murdered and 77 people shot.

ECO Foundation counselor Mikaya Wooder was personally affected by this surge.

"One of my cousins, Amir Johnson was shot in the head and my other cousin, him and his baby, were shot two weeks ago," Wooder said.

"We have to do our part as adults to show them a better way and to show them a better way and that their culture isn't just about violence, it's about amazing opportunities," Oba Sankofa said.

Mother's In Charge agrees that it starts with adults being positive role models and giving people access to adequate mental healthcare and positive ways to cope with unemployment.

The organization says murder has sadly been its own pandemic well before COVID 19.

"I know that the police department does the best that they can. The community does the best that they can but we're only solving 44 percent of the cases," Renee McDonald said.

McDonald, a facilitator with Mothers In Charge, says it starts at the community level.

"If you see something, say something. We have to be responsible for ourselves we know that our young people have unregistered guns in the home, we need to get those guns taken care of," McDonald said.
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