Push to end violence in Lynchburg after police say 15-year-old boy shot, killed man

One Community One Voice to hold town hall Wednesday at E.C. Glass High School

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Action is what Lynchburg community leaders want after police say 15-year-old killed a man last weekend.

A porch light is still on and a makeshift memorial is all that’s left behind on Gum Street where 31-year-old Darius Saunders died Saturday night.

Saunders was shot in the chest by a 15-year-old boy, according to police.

Days later, not far from the shooting scene, community activists and police are talking about what more they can do to put an end to violence in the White Rock Hill neighborhood.

“We realize this is a homicide that they’re alleging a 15-year-old young man is involved in. We really need to take our community back. That’s what we’re really about,” said pastor James Camm, co-founder of One Community One Voice.

By taking it back, Camm means meeting neighbors where they are.

The case is still under investigation, so police and community members want to hear more from neighbors about issues they see and face every day to help them find solutions.

“Talk to every individual we can, find out what their concerns are, from abandoned vehicles, to reckless driving, to complaints,” said Lynchburg police Sgt. Gary Fink.

There were only two homicides in 2019, compared to eight the year before, according to Lynchburg police.

“With every person in the city, I’m sure they want to see zero too. The best way is to open communication. Be as transparent as we can,” Fink said.

Transparency, listening and taking notes is all part of the group's goal.

But this walk is personal for Camm, who grew up on the streets where Saunders died.

“It's time for action. We have got to do whatever it takes to change this,” Camm said.

If you’re interested in helping, there will be a town hall meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. at E.C. Glass High School to talk about helping Lynchburg teens.

About the Author: