MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — The tragic shooting of 14-year-old William Chaffin of McKeesport last month has left an entire community shattered.
“Will was one of my close friends, like a brother. I grew up with him, played football with him. Now we need more after school activities,” Devontae Hamilton said.
“It’s been rough a little bit. Thinking about him it’s making me fight and stuff,” Trevarse Rowe said.
But now a group of men from the same community are hoping regular Sunday gatherings at McKeesport’s Renziehausen Park will bring the young men of the area together with the older guys, to try and turn around the violent trend they’ve been witnessing.
“We are all McKeesport you know, and we’re pretty much trying to bring everybody together, Harrison Village, Crawford Village, Bailey Avenue, the Hill. We’re just trying to come together,” Director of McKeesport Parks and Recreation Jim Brown said.
“The death of a young man a few weeks ago, actually hurt the whole city. It made it a lot easier for us to come together and talk to each other and let them know we ain’t got problems with each other no more,” organizer Rashad Rowe said.
This Sunday was the second week for Food And Fun In The Park and the hope is the event will grow, maybe even get some support from the city, all with one goal: Let the young men of this area know violence is not a solution.
“Younger guys, keep doing what you’re doing. Keep listening to your fathers and people that care about you and sticking with school and everything, sports,” Russ Stuvaints said.