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Local leaders, pastors plead with community to stop violence

Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 18:59:25-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Local pastors and community leaders came together for a news conference on Tuesday to assure people they are committed to stopping gun violence. Leaders said people need to speak up, and if not the violence will continue and more people will get hurt.

On Monday, two people were shot at the Sun Fresh Market at the Linwood Shopping Center. The market continued to pick up the pieces a day after the shooting.

"It was scary. Bullet holes and it was really frightening. I am still chilled up. It was really, really frightening," said shopper Judy Pickens.

Customers could see bullet holes and shattered glass as they walked into the store. It's only been open since June.

"People in our city, people in our community are hurting. They really are," said City Councilman Jermaine Reed.

Pastors joined Reed to tell people now is the time to speak up and call out criminals.

"Don't be afraid to call them out. With the greater good of our community is at stake, then the greater good of your home is at stake," said Pastor Ron Lindsay with Concord Church.

The area near the store has seen its fair share of crime. In the last three months, there have been more than 60 violent crimes around the store in a 10-block radius. 

"Let's stand and press and push to make this store a shining example of what it looks like when broken people stand together to make something great happen," said Lindsay.

41 Action News spoke with the store's owners who said they are heartbroken that one of their employees was shot.

"When I hire these people, I told them you are going to be family. And this was like one of your babies getting hit. It just wasn't fair," said store owner Pam Lipari.

Lipari and her husband want to put this behind them, and they are adding more security to keep people safe.

"We are going to enhance our security. We are going to have to do something to make people feel comfortable coming in here," said John Lipari.