BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - One victim has now died from the weekend shooting rampage that wounded five people in Martin Luther King Park. The community is rallying against a recent wave of gun violence.
Reverend Darius Pridgen said, "Somebody's going to say, 'How could they dance? How could they smile?' 'Cause we're not going to let anybody take our joy, take our community. And every time they think they can, we're going to pump it up!"
Families danced and sang at MLK Park's picnic shelter number four Wednesday afternoon -- the same spot where, four days earlier, five young people were shot. One of them - 26-year-old Marquay Lee - died just hours before the rally.
His mom, and the mother of victim Johand Taylor, found themselves at the center of a group hug, hundreds of arms cradling them.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "This city is safe, because we're going to make it safe! This city is strong, because we're going to make it strong!"
Word of Lee's death came as a solemn reminder: 11 people have been shot in Buffalo since Saturday, two are dead, and none of the crimes have been solved.
Lee's mother, Nina Baskins, said, "It's just a lot of violence going on, that needs to stop. It needs to stop, because innocent people [are] getting killed, over some stupid stuff."
"We need help in this city. I believe if we bring the electric chair back here, everything will be all right. Because my son didn't have to go this way, like this," added Baskins.
Leaders urged those who know something, to say something - if not to the police, then to community activists.
Stop the Violence Coalition Chairman Murray Holman said, "We care. If you have to talk to somebody, please come to us. If you're scared to turn yourself in, come talk to us. We'll walk you through that."
Pridgen added, "I'm really encouraging this community - the same way they did for the City Grill shooter, this shooter has to be caught. Now, there's a murder. And we can't sit back and expect police to do what we need to be doing in our own community. Period."
You can confidentially report information about any unsolved crime to Buffalo Police at 847-2255.
If you're not comfortable with that, Stop the Violence has a 24-hour hotline: 882-7882.
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