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14 young people shot in Georgia in 12 hours | Faith leaders call for solutions to gun violence

Clergy from across the metro gathered in Rodney Cook Senior Park.

ATLANTA — In the wake of the tragic death of 16-year-old Lloyd Foster III, faith leaders from across the metro gathered at Rodney Cook Park in Historic Vine City to pray for peace and demand solutions.

The teen was killed in a double shooting on Feb. 1 at 371 Sunset Ave., and since then, at least six other children have been injured by guns in the Atlanta metro area.

In just a matter of 12 hours in the past day, 14 young people have been shot in the state of Georgia. Now, families are calling for an end to the continued youth gun violence.

During the gathering, Oshebar Hardman with AND Campaign called for the community to come together and stand against violence in the streets. 

"Let us, as a community, come together. This stands as men and women that are now saying no more, no more violence in the street," Hardman said.

The group then marched to the church where Lloyd Foster III's funeral was taking place. Lloyd's father spoke out about his hopes for solutions so that no other family has to suffer. 

"They have their own culture -- that we have no idea what's going on here," he said.

However, the clergy members who gathered at the park hope to change that by implementing programs that will get to the root of the problem. 

Maria Stafford, an organizer for We Care, hopes that holding events with resources like therapy and economic counseling will help combat youth gun violence. 

"When you send your son out there into a war zone or your daughter in a war zone, you need therapy to be able to deal with these things," Stafford said.

Stafford also emphasized the importance of going door-to-door and getting back into grassroots efforts. 

"It's going to take us to actually going door to door, getting back into some grassroots, going in those homes, letting them know that we're just not going to politicize this," she said.

Overall, the gathering was a desperate cry for an end to the community's pandemic of violence. 

"Not another one of our brothers or young people said, 'Go down' while we are present," Darrell Elligan said. 

The small steps taken by the clergy members are part of a larger effort to combat youth gun violence and create a safer community for all.

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