Community searches for solutions following series of gun violence

22News is continuing our coverage of a series of shootings in Springfield neighborhoods. 22News found out what leaders of Springfield community church’s are asking of their members to do to try and eliminate future violence.

“My heart is very heavy because that young 18 year old, I attended that funeral,” Jeanette Haines told 22News Sunday morning.

Since the Memorial Day observance, 22News has tracked a total of 10 people who have been shot and wounded on Springfield streets. Three of those victims died.

“I’ve been born and raised here, I am a business owner here, and I love my city and I know that it can be a better place, but I just don’t know what the solution is,” Kelly Holbrook told 22News.

Sunday’s religious services at St. John’s Congregational Church, in Springfield, was filled with calls for help to community members to be a part of some kind of solution.

“So that we can be proactive and prevent what we’ve seen over these last few weeks,” Reverend Calvin McFadden said during his Sunday morning sermon. Rev. McFadden spoke about an initiative by clergy men across the nation that he believes will make a difference here in Springfield. It’s called “Eyes on the Streets” and works to open up the communication between witnesses of the shootings and the police department.

“There were several people who attended our Sister Lenezzia’s funeral services who know who the shooter is but refuse to come forward for fear of retaliation and all this other foolishness,” Rev. McFadden said.

Haines, a parishioner told 22News, while she mourns the loss of one of the recent shooting victims, this is a welcomed solution. “Definitely, come forward! We need to help the police force, you know they’re going through a lot too. They’re not going to be able to help us or help the family if you stay quiet,” Haines said.

In many of these cases, so far, no arrests have been made.

If you have any information about these shootings you can send it anonymously to TEXT-A-TIP.   First, text the word CRIMES. After that, type the world SOLVE and then type the information. Or you can call the Springfield Police Detective Bureau at (413)-787-6355.

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