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Louisville youth march to call out growing community gun violence

Teens are taking a stand against the rising rate of violence in the community – marching for peace, calling for an end for homicide, especially amongst the youth.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Making a difference one foot step at a time, kids of all ages wanted their voices heard as they marched from Russell to the Shawnee neighborhood on Friday.

Malachi Part, an eighth-grade student, urged people to use the power of their voices and not guns as violence grips the community.

He said each new homicide that happens, it hits hard.

“It makes me feel terrified. It’s like I don’t want to even leave my own home,” Malachi said with concern.

Making a difference one foot step at a time, kids of all ages wanted their voices heard as they marched from Russell to the Shawnee neighborhood on Friday.

Malachi Part, an eighth-grade student, urged people to use the power of their voices and not guns as violence grips the community.

He said each new homicide that happens, it hits hard.

“It makes me feel terrified. It’s like I don’t want to even leave my own home,” he said with concern.

Malachi marched with others as part of the “A Way Back” youth program through the Sanctuary House Missionary Church.

Pastor Edith Jones said the program is revitalizing and community gun violence is the issue they wanted to tackle first.

“We are in a positive way to let the community know the young people are concerned about gun violence – it’s affecting them,” she said. “They want to say enough is enough. We want to do something about it.”

At the same time as the march, in another part of town, dozens of family members gathered in Ballard Park in Smoketown to remember 17-year-old Dajuan Coward.

He was shot Monday evening in the park and died Wednesday morning.

“[We] just hope to find who’s responsible – we don’t want no retaliation really – we just want to find who’s responsible,” his grandmother Samon Coward said.

Samon said the family is calling for kids to put the guns down.

“Just call it quits. We don’t want it to go back and forth. We’re trying to get all these young kids to be able to do something positive,” she said.

She’s hoping just like the youth marchers that their message and voices will be heard.

It’s like I don’t want to even leave my own home,” he said with concern.

Malachi marched with others as part of the “A Way Back” youth program through the Sanctuary House Missionary Church.

Pastor Edith Jones said the program is revitalizing and community gun violence is the issue they wanted to tackle first.

“We are in a positive way to let the community know the young people are concerned about gun violence – it’s affecting them,” she said. “They want to say enough is enough. We want to do something about it.”

At the same time as the march, in another part of town, dozens of family members gathered in Ballard Park in Smoketown to remember 17-year-old Dajuan Coward.

He was shot Monday evening in the park and died Wednesday morning.

“[We] just hope to find who’s responsible – we don’t want no retaliation really – we just want to find who’s responsible,” his grandmother Samon Coward said.

Samon said the family is calling for kids to put the guns down.

“Just call it quits. We don’t want it to go back and forth. We’re trying to get all these young kids to be able to do something positive,” she said.

She’s hoping just like the youth marchers that their message and voices will be heard.

Contact reporter Tyler Emery at temery@WHAS11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@TylerWHAS11) and Facebook.

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