Saturday’s Peace Walk in response to fatal Springfield shootings

The community group Parents of Victims of Crime will hold the Peace Walk beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at Southgate Baptist Church, 2111 S. Center Blvd.

The walk is a response to the four fatal shootings that took place over nine days in the city last month, and the overall growing trend of violence in Springfield.

“There are cartels right here,” said Mary Dill, the organizer of the parents group. Her son, Dovon Williams, and his friend, Arbrie Smith, were gunned down at the intersection of West Perrin Avenue and Center Street in 2011. “This is nothing new … it affects us every day.”

Dill wants those watching the march to see how many families in Springfield have been affected by violence. Nothing is going to change until the issue is faced head on, she added.

The group hopes to have between 150-200 people participate in Saturday’s march.

“It may not stop anything, but we’re going to keep it out there,” Dill said.

During the most recent homicide, two men were found fatally shot in an SUV on Oct. 28. That brings the number of people fatally shot in Springfield so far this year to 11, compared with eight in all of 2014.

The local Peace Keepers group will be joining the march as well.

Anyone interested in walking should meet at Southgate at noon. The walk begins promptly at 1 p.m.

It will end at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1171 S. Yellow Springs St., where the families of homicide victims will be invited to speak.

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