LOUISVILLE (AP) — The fatal shooting of a 1-year-old girl has spurred family members and community activists to call for an end to violence in the area.
Police say an unknown assailant killed the child on Wednesday and wounded her mother as they sat on a porch outside their home in Louisville’s west end.
The Courier-Journal reports police have been called to the community 74 times in August alone.
On Thursday, the child’s great grandmother, Sherrie Miller, joined neighborhood activists at the site of the shooting to call for change. Mayor Greg Fischer visited the site on Thursday evening and met with family members.
“It’s a very sad day for the city,” Fischer said. “There’s no conceivable, acceptable reason for this happening in our community.”
Fischer, Miller and others called for the person responsible to come forward and for the community to unite in an effort to stop further violence.
“We’re supposed to be brothers and sisters. We’re supposed to love one another,” said Miller, who described the toddler as a happy girl who loved to dance. “Why do we have to kill?”
Twyman Reed, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 40 years, says he’s seen growing signs of trouble.
“People can’t keep turning a blind eye to what’s going on,” Reed said. “Nobody wants to lose a loved one, but to lose a child? Jesus. It’s senseless.”
Minister Jerald Muhammad of the Louisville Nation of Islam denounced the fatal shooting, and Pastor Vincent James of Elim Baptist Church said the community needs to set aside its differences.
“We’re not going to accept it any longer,” James said about crime in the area. “I know the streets know what happen, and the streets will talk. And we need to come together to make sure that happens.”