MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A walk for peace wove through the streets of north Minneapolis Sunday to support the families of the three children who were recently shot in the city.
Two young girls have died in the past two weeks after being shot in the head by stray bullets. Six-year-old Aniya Allen, passed on May 19, two days after she was shot while in her family’s car on the way home from McDonald’s.
Nine-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith, who was shot while jumping on a trampoline during a birthday party, died this week. Raishawn is her father.
“We love you, baby girl. God got a real special angel up there right now,” Smith said.
Ladavionne Garrett also spoke at the walk. His son, Ladavionne Jr., was shot in late April in Minneapolis and is now recovering.
“We just need prayers,” Garrett said. “We need all the prayers. We don’t need no negativity. We don’t need none of that.”
Garrett dismissed the idea of retaliation because he said that would only hurt another family. One woman who spoke to the crowd pleaded with them to put the guns down.
Rev. Tim Christopher of Shepherds Works said he’d like to see politicians help young people get what they need, including money.
“Why not bring some type of job program in here?” Christopher said. “Why not bring a way that they can work with the city and be a part of, you know, cleaning up the parks, and get paid for it.”
City Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham joined the marchers as they moved through his ward. He says he’s working on a collaborative approach with policing and community-based violence prevention.
“How are we identifying folks ahead of time who are at high risk?” Cunningham said. “Getting them the kind of help and support they need, and then doing targeted enforcement for those who won’t take the help and who stay violent and won’t put the guns down.”
Council President Lisa Bender and Councilmember Steve Fletcher also took part in the walk, which ended in a park with food and a fun, family atmosphere.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tipline at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online via the Crime Stoppers website.