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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -(WDEF) Just hours after three people were shot over the St. Patrick's holiday weekend, more than three dozen Chattanooga residents gathered at rally to stop the violence in the streets.
Among the attendees was gang task force
coordinator and former prosecutor, Boyd Patterson.
"They're all kinds of victims of this happening; not just the ones getting shot but the ones who are doing the shooting; the ones at risk of getting shot and it's really reached epidemic proportions here in Chattanooga," Boyd said.
The rally was organized by Latoya Holloman who works at a local community center. She said watching news reports of deadly violence for the past two weeks have been brutal and felt the community needed a rally against gang violence.
When I see my young people dying, it just makes me want to say ok, what can I do to help," holloman said.
In the past two weeks, there has been multiple shooting that have left several victims in the hospital and one person dead.
Newly elected city council member, Chip Henderson said that attention generated by the gun violence is hurting the image of the city .
"It does present an appearance of violence which it it is and it's something we need to get control of. I think we can do that through a multifaceted number of ways," Henderson said.
The rally was not only timely due to recent shootings, but it also marked the one year anniversary of the shooting of 13 year old Keoshia Ford.
Ford was shot in the head by a stray bullet. The shooting involved two rival gangs and Ford was just an innocent bystander caught in the line of fire. Ford is now confined to a wheelchair with damage to her brain. Her mother, Lekeshia Matthews said the past 12 months have been extremely difficult for the entire family.
"It's been rough and we been through a whole lot and it's really hard to really get through with all that happened to her and it's been a year already," Matthews said.
Prior to the rally, several groups of people met at a local church and held a prayer vigil for Ford before marching through the streets in her honor.