Kids Participate in Event to Help Stop Gun Violence in Miami

Community members spoke out about their commitment to stopping gun violence on the streets of Miami Wednesday.

There was serious talk inside New Beginning Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, but it ended with some fun, since the event was geared toward teens.

About 20 to 30 children and teens spoke about real issues plaguing the streets of Miami-Dade County, mainly gun violence.

The pastor asked how many kids have a friend who has been shot and about half of them raised their hands. They talked about "not snitching," and the need to break that code of silence.

But what may have impacted the youth the most was hearing from one of their peers, Hasam Williams, who was shot six times last Halloween at a Food Mart.

"This could be your last day and you can't see tomorrow. When I got shot, I thought it'd be my last day and when I opened my eyes, it wasn't," Williams said to the group.

Police said gang violence claimed the life of 6-year-old King Carter and sent three schools into lockdown last month; many of the shooters were teenagers.

Church leaders said they don't want any of these kids to go down that kind of path.

Tehsia Green lost her daughter, Precious Johnson, to gun violence last August. The murder remains unsolved and she hopes these kids will feel more comfortable to speak up in the future.

"If they see something and no one is taking the time to talk to them about it, they don't know and wonder. They're curious about what to do," Green said.

Miami Gardens Police were also on hand to talk with the kids.

After the serious talk, the games began at the church and then there was pizza and haircuts for the kids. Church leaders said they plan to have events like this monthly.

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