MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — There have been calls to stop the violence in many communities, but members of Bethlehem Baptist Church marched through the neighborhoods Saturday with a message.
“We must do something,” Rev. Earlene Coleman said. “We’re going to lose a generation.”
The losses continue. So far in 2017, the city of McKeesport has had seven homicides.
Fourteen-year-old William Cheffin was killed on April 25. His mother, Carin Williams, says it was no accident.
“My son didn’t live that kind of life,” she said. “My son played basketball, football, all kind of sports and stuff.”
A makeshift coffin contained not only the names of homicide victims in 2017, but also goes back to unsolved cases over the past few years.
May Hudson brought a picture of her son Carlos Hudson, who was murdered with Janet Randolph in August of 2013.
“We’re never going to forget,” Hudson said. “It’s never going to end. I know who murdered them.”
Joy Burgwin brought a poster board with pictures of seven relatives murdered between 2010 and 2015.
“These men are the men of our family,” she said. “My family has been devastated. Seven males murdered within five to seven years.”
Coleman says the community must learn to trust police and put their faith in God.
“I told them that once we begin to make God the head of our house and Jesus in our heart, we won’t want to fight, we won’t want to shoot, we won’t want to kill each other,” she said.
In the meantime, they’ll keep working and praying to stop the killing in McKeesport.