NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Dozens held a rally for peace on Thursday after a rash of violence early in the week. Four shootings happened in four hours, killing two people on Tuesday- marking the tenth and eleventh homicides in the Elm City this year.
The families of two men killed in the string of shootings Tuesday night remembered their loved ones at Thursday’s rally. Howard Lewis, a loving father of 12, died in front of his children while sitting in a car on Munson Street. Later that night on Whaley Avenue, 33-year-old Ibrahim Shareef of New Haven was also killed.
Police say the victims in 3 of 4 of those shootings had criminal histories. But to their families who’ve lost so much – a past doesn’t matter.
Lewis’ eldest son addressed the crowd saying, “I don’t care how many people keep saying he had a criminal record. What matters is that he always wanted us together as a family… always.”
Shareef’s uncle Remedy added, “I hope our young men and women who call themselves gang-affiliated are listening to me: It’s time for you to recognize that your enemy is not the people you’re shooting your guns at; your enemy is a mental place that you’ve been put in”
The community has been fighting COVID-19, police brutality, and now each other. This call-to-action to stop the violence is a call they say cannot be ignored.
“We’ve approached a lot of different families and ask them to come out and stand with us against this gun violence,” Remedy explained, “help raise them, young men and women, with a different set of values and they didn’t come out and stand with us until this tragedy directly impacted and hit their homes this is what we’re faced with.”