SAN DIEGO -- In response to multiple shootings in the Southeast San Diego community in the last few days, a coalition of clergy, civic and community leaders are calling for an end to the violence erupting in their neighborhoods.
"We’re here to stand with the families, we’re here to stand with the young people, we’re here to stand with the victims. And we know that this is my community, this is our community and we want to make it a safe place," said Pastor Ellen Nash.
The group of activists and leaders made a public and unified stand Wednesday condemning all shootings and killings taking place in San Diego.
“We offer our condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of the victims," Student Minister Muhammad said. "Just as importantly, regardless to our religious, political, or organizational affiliation, we are united in our stance that these acts of violence not only steal the lives of our citizens but also stifle the hope, aspirations and progress of an entire community. We are committed to offer solutions and avenues to peace. We must make this community a safe a decent place to live and take proactive steps to alleviate the fear and anger that is brewing."
"A lot of us have been working a long time together in this vineyard of gang violence and trying to curtail gang violence. The one thing about it is one particular agency, one particular person can’t do it by themselves. It’s going to take the entire community and all of us together to make it happen," said Pastor Rickey Laster.
Monday night, five people were shot in the East Village. The shootings late Monday happened less than a mile and a half from where a man was fatally shot Sunday night in Logan Heights. And earlier on Sunday, near Mountain View Park, two men died after they were gunned down less than two miles from the Logan Heights shooting and just three miles from the East Village shootings.
"We have lived the life you are living now," said C.A.S.T. Pastor Cornelius Bowser, a former gang member.
Bowser said killing each other is not the answer.
"We need you alive and out of prison with your family and children for this community to grow and thrive,” he said.
The group says Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the San Diego Chief of Police have both promised resources and to work closely with the group, an investment they say is needed to make their communities safer.
“The problem is the lack of resources, opportunities and things to come to you so you can do other things with your time other than sitting idle," said Paving Great Futures founder Armand King. "Without the proper help and guidance, we’re just left to live in turmoil and anger and frustration and really with no hope and no aspirations for the future. You leave anybody like that and this is what you’re gonna get."