Springfield residents come together to stop recent gang violence - KPTV - FOX 12

Springfield residents come together to stop recent gang violence

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Dozens of community members stood on the steps of a Springfield church on Friday night trying to help stop the violence that they say is spreading throughout the city.

"That could've been my son out there," Darrell Jenkins' uncle said, who asked to remain anonymous. "That could've been my son out there. We got to be fathers."

The Jenkins family hugged, consoled and held one another at the prayer vigil outside Progressive Community Baptist Church, remembering their loved one, Darrell Jenkins, 23, who was shot and killed.

"I got kids out here, man," the uncle said. "They're running around. My boys might be next. My sister only had one son. I only got one nephew. I'll never have that again."

The church held the service to bring people together, to stop the violence that has spread throughout the city over the past two weeks.

"Something has to be done," Tiffany Griffin, of Springfield, said. "Something has to be said."

Griffin says she doesn't know any of the three people who were killed in the recent shootings, but came to Friday's service to help take back her community.

"I want to feel safe in my own city, be able to go out and enjoy my summer," she said.

Sitting on the steps of the church, singing, praying and mourning, those in attendance say the service was exactly what Springfield needs.

"I feel that the one thing that can help stop the violence is what was done here today," Springfield resident Sabrena Brantley said.

The church says Friday night's event was their way of showing their support.

"We just want to be visual," Rev. Joe C. Long, Jr. said. "And let the people know that our doors are not only open but we're here to support, not only the families that have been affected, but, you know, we have young children within our community that could potentially be involved and directly so we are just here to show our support."

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