In the wake of five fatal shootings in one weekend alone in the city of Boston, community members are rallying to stop gun violence.
Dozens of concerned citizens came together on Monday night at the Dorchester campaign office of Liz Miranda.
Miranda, who is running for state representative, lost her brother in Aug. 2017 to gun violence after he was shot and killed in the theater district.
Everyone who gathered in the wake of a holiday weekend of gun violence was united in experiencing similar tragedies first hand on the front lines of their everyday lives.
Among those who spoke was a woman who tried to give CPR to the young man who died after being shot on Itasca Street in Mattapan.
“The police were begging him, saying, 'Don’t stop [breathing]' and that help was on the way," said the woman. "I kept saying, 'Do you live on this street, how old are you?' and I felt like I knew he was going, I knew he knew he was going because he started to cry and stopped trying to breathe."
The woman's heartbreak resonated with the rest of the attendees, who all agreed the only way to make a change moving forward is by continuing the conversation.
The woman is asking to remain anonymous since she witnessed the gunshots and fears retaliation.
"I grabbed his hands, I said, 'My hands are warm, take my life out of my hand, please hold on,'" the woman said. "I want to sleep, I’m afraid to sleep, I walk out of my home and look left and right at every car because I don’t know who’s coming."
Those gathered stood united in a strong belief that they can change the statistics through dialogue and determination.
Community activist Isaura Mendes says the loss of two sons and four nephews has not only given her a cruel lesson in pain, but has also taught her forgiveness.
"This is something our children see every day in our community," said Mendes. "We need to come together and work together."
As they kept the conversation going inside that room, members of the community showed each other how endless support can strengthen their determination in effecting change.
“I don’t think anyone should live in a community and have a fear they are going to be hurt," said Miranda.
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