Community gathers in Malden to speak out against gun violence - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Community gathers in Malden to speak out against gun violence

(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

Members of the Malden community gathered Saturday to speak out against rampant gun violence.

It started with dozens that gathered at the Martin Luther King Park.

Throughout the event, it grew to roughly a hundred people - all who came together to speak of how gun violence needs to stop.

One at a time, a person came on stage and shared their story of why gun violence needs to stop and how it has affected them.

Some speakers were family members of one who was shot and killed, while others were people who knew of someone getting shot or shot someone, and some were ex-cons that shot those guns themselves.

They all agreed that across America, gun violence is not the answer. 

Greg Killebrew from Malden felt it was time to help spread the word about how this violence needs to stop in Malden and everywhere else. 

"There's too many kids and too many guys that we know of getting killed for this gun violence," Killebrew said.

"I think it's time for us to stand up and fight for our neighborhood."

Malden has had some recent shootings lately.

One of which killed a man and also grazed an 11 year old child.

"Gun violence has to stop," Killebrew said. "I'm tired of it and it's not getting any better."

As Killebrew was up speaking on stage, he wore a shirt that had 5 names on the back. 

"All five of these guys were killed with guns," Killebrew said. "Four of them was killed with guns and one of them that was killed had shot somebody and he's in jail now. And he's probably never going to get out.

"I know these kids. Their young like 17 to 25. And they're out here shooting guns randomly and it's causing problems in all the communities."

Malden police officers came to join the event as well.

Malden Police Chief Jarrett Bullock spoke on stage and told everyone that it hurts him when a shooting occurs in town. 

"It's not like when the police take people to jail we enjoy it," Bullock said.

"It's our job. You gonna do it. We're going to bring it."

People listening seemed to agree. Bullock also assured the people here that he will do what it takes to bring justice to those that are committing crimes and for the families.

He also stated he doesn't like to see the crimes happen here and hopes it doesn't get too carried away. 

"Do I want to live in a police state or a police community? No," Bullock said.

"It's ridiculous. It's not the way people should live. We're going to clear this up. I promise you that. It might take me two years. It might take me ten but people will go to jail."

That is how many people felt that we talked to as well.

Many said if these people are guilty of a crime then they need to learn their lesson in jail. 

"Just lock them up," Killebrew said. "That's what it's going to take."

A jail sentence is something Killebrew said might help these people learn their lesson.

It was a 10 year sentence Killebrew faced in which he learned his lesson as well.

"I did armed robberies, I was dealing with guns and I was shooting people just the same," Killebrew said.

"But it took ten years of my life, with and 85 percent for me to realize that it's time for me to stop. Grow up. Be a man. Be out here for my kids. Be out here for my mother, my family."

While many there at the event grieved of their loved ones that passed, others tried to motivate and persuade the ways of changing to stop the gun violence. 

"I've had family members go to jail because of gun violence, Amir Waters of New Madrid said.

 "I've had family members young and old die because of gun violence. I think it's almost becoming the norm."

Waters added that we need to take some responsibility as individuals - not just pray, but if a person knows that something bad is about to happen, then to confront them and try to stop it before it starts. 

"When are we really going to try to make a change as opposed to just saying it's not my problem. Because it is," Waters added.

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