PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There was a call to action in the local African American community today in response to the recent shootings and gun violence involving young males.

An emergency Town Hall Meeting brought dozens of concerned residents out as the search for answers continues.

Rev. Glenn Grayson says he wants every young person in Pittsburgh to promise to never touch a gun in honor of his son Jeron Grayson.

It was nearly a month ago that Grayson, an 18-year-old student at Hampton University in Virginia, was killed when shots were fired at a party he was attending at California University of Pennsylvania.

Last month, the suspect, 19-year-old Keith Jones, was ordered to stand trial for criminal homicide.

The emergency meeting brought dozens together to find solutions to a problem that’s destroying families and communities. Many parents, who have lost children to violence, were in attendance.

“Opening up the churches, opening up the schools, getting Grant Street and some of our public officials to understand,” said Rashad Byrdsong, of the Community Empowerment Association. “We have to understand; we have to bring these kids into training.”

Some parents who have lost children say they blame guns and want children to think twice about using them.

“All these people that got guns, it’s just too easy to get guns,” said Victoria Green, who lost her son to violence. “I don’t understand why it’s happening.”

Still, communities must find a way to reach young people and change hearts and minds.

“If you don’t have a relationship with a young person then your chance of impacting them – causing them to change their behavior – is very small,” added Dr. Lamar Lee, a retired school administrator.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE