WATERBURY, Conn, (WTNH) – A prayer for peace and change could be heard from the Waterbury Green Sunday afternoon.
An intimate group of people came together after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas this past Tuesday.
The week prior, in Buffalo, New York, another shooter murdered 10 people in a grocery store in what authorities called a racist attack.
Both tragedies are leaving an impact here in Connecticut.
“I feel sad for the people who have lost their children,” said 8-year-old Waterbury resident Juanaeja Gilbert.
Touched by what happened in Texas, Juanaeja and her mother, Felicia Gatling, made cards and wreaths for each victim’s family, knowing no one is immune.
“To say, ‘Oh, that will never happen in Waterbury,’ that will never come out of my mouth, because you never know,” Gatling said.
Gun violence is also plaguing Waterbury, but youth organizations are doing what they can to curb the problem.
“We have to have more unity as a community and put our voice out there and encourage our young people to put the guns down,” said Darryl Copeland, vice president of Ice the Beef, Waterbury chapter and associate elder at Refuge Church of Christ.
Ice the Beef is a New Haven youth development organization focused on ending gun violence in inner cities.
“Us as adults, we have to teach them better,” said Raymond Cross, youth president of Ice the Beef, Waterbury chapter.