PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Petersburg community members gathered and marched this morning in an effort to show solidarity against the city’s recent surge in gun violence.
The march began at 10 a.m., starting at the intersection of Shore Street and Sycamore Street and ending at the old Crockett’s Food Center on Halifax Street.
Pastor Belinda Baugh of the New Divine Worship Center in Petersburg was the organizer. Baugh has been visiting Petersburg crime scenes to comfort grieving families. She was at Holly Hill Drive the Friday night that three children and one adult were shot.
In recent years, Baugh had organized other regional Stop the Violence events attended by city leaders and community members. She decided to organize a peace walk for Saturday morning in an attempt to raise awareness about the recent gun violence that has been plaguing the city.
“You’ve got the power to decide what you want to see happen in this city,” Baughs said as she spoke to the crowd. “You don’t make a change staying in one location.”
“This morning, we’re gathered here to bring some awareness back into our community; to bring hope back into our community so that there’s still some light to let people know that we’re here as a unified force,” said Petersburg Chief of Police, Travis Christian, who was in attendance. “This gives us an opportunity for the people in our neighborhood to see that they’re not in this alone. Everybody’s sharing the same sense of concern and trying to figure out a way and working towards a better future for our city.”