After two young men were gunned down in a double homicide on Sunday, August 11, one Bronx community is taking a different approach to protest the senseless violence.
It was just before midnight when a 21-year-old man was shot in the neck and a 17-year-old man took a bullet in his torso at the Parkside Houses NYCHA complex’s 2975 White Plains Road property. The two were already dead by the time officers from the 49th Precinct arrived on the scene at nearby 2955 White Plains Road.
EMS responded to the location and transported both victims to Jacobi Hospital, where they were both formally pronounced deceased.
However, Jacobi is just getting started with its response to the fatal shooting. Stand Up To Violence, a violence intervention program done by Jacobi held a march to the spot of the deadly double homicide on the evening of Wednesday, August 14.
“We view violence as a disease,” said Carjah Dawkins, director of SUV. “The cure to violence is bringing the community together to find ways to prevent these kind of acts,” she continued on.
In the program’s five-year existence, it had developed a few ‘target areas’ within the east Bronx to push for a reduction of violence and to intervene with potentially dangerous situations and the individuals that may be inclined to commit such acts.
Sunday’s fatal shootings were within that target area.
It was also the first incident of gun violence in one of SUV’s target areas in 183 days and the first homicide since October of 2018.
“This is definitely a blow to us,” Dawkins said, mentioning SUV’s involvement with local youth community centers given the young age of the two male victims.
The program intends to work with different community outlets to create a large scale commemoration of the shooting to serve as an indicator that those sort of incidents will not be tolerated and can be avoided.
“We can’t be numb to violence,” she continued.
Besides the recent setback, Dawkins explained that the program’s target areas have seen a 44% reduction in violence since SUV rolled out in full force.
It’s also a task of the program to send outreach workers into the communities and target areas in efforts to spread the message of violence alternatives while doing similar to trauma and gunshot victims that were transported to Jacobi Hospital, even if not from an SUV target area.
“Getting out and spreading a message like this is very critical,” said 49th Precinct Community Council president, Joe Thompson.
He explained the current shootings remain under investigation as of press time while reiterating the point that community involvement and intervention goes a long way in the ongoing duel with violent crime.
“It is on the community to unite and say that we will not tolerate this,” he said.
“Even further, it’s on the community to explain that there are alternatives to such violent acts, the rally brings awareness to that on all ends,” Thompson continued.