Clergy members calling for end to violence in Elm City - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Clergy members calling for end to violence in Elm City

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A shooting in New Haven on Saturday afternoon left a 13-year-old injured (WFSB) A shooting in New Haven on Saturday afternoon left a 13-year-old injured (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Pastors of several churches have pledged their resources to help put an end to the violence in New Haven.

Pastor Charles Brewer, of the Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ, said the recent shootings and violence are bad enough, but add in the fact that many of the victims and suspects are young teens.

He said the church leaders need to do more.

“Kids killing kids. Not even old enough to babysit their own self but they got guns and doing all kind of mess in the street,” Brewer said.

A Saturday afternoon shooting left a 13-year-old with a gunshot wound to the leg, but the issue is not new.

“You don't need another preacher telling you that there is a problem,” Brewer said.

He and clergy from across New Haven say the time has come for change.

“You can come to any of our churches and receive not only spiritual guidance but daily guidance to get us through what we're going through,” Brewer said.

The recent spike in violence includes the murder of 14-year-old Tyrick Keyes. His funeral is on Tuesday.

“He was ready for high school,” said the teen’s mother, Demethra Telford.

His mother says her son's death should be a wake-up call for others.

“Maybe if everyone comes together to get more justice it will be better,” Telford said.

The pastors, and victims’ families hope a newly formed alliance will reach the young teens before it's too late.

“It is extremely imperative that we come together as a community to stop this violence,” Brewer said.

“I'm willing to make that difference with them,” Telford said.

New Haven police report the number of non-fatal shootings in the city so far this year has already exceeded the number from all of last year.

One more homicide ties the total for 2016.

The police chief says this violence will not be tolerated.

He's putting more resources into the neighborhoods and calling on the community to step up as well.

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