YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some people in Youngstown are saying enough is enough when it comes to the shooting and killing of people. In fact, one group has printed up t-shirts and is planning an event.
The rally comes on the heels of a shooting over the weekend at the Utopia nightclub where one person was killed and two people were hurt.
The name of the group is Youngtown United As One. It’s a small group of six to eight people formed three years ago to hold community events to bring people together. Its next event will be Saturday, April 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown on Oak Hill Avenue.
Darrell Jones, Tineka Patterson and Wanda Duncan Anderson are organizing the event. In announcing the rally, the group wore hats with the word Youngstown on them and t-shirts that read “Youngstown, Ohio – Cease Fire – Nobody’s Winning.” They’re hoping people will listen.
“Lately, this last month or two, there’s been too much violence going on with the youth. Senseless killing. As you read our shirts, they say we need to stop this senseless violence because no one is winning. Someone is going to the hospital, or someone is going to the cemetery, or another person is going to jail,” Jones said.
Some of the mothers who’ve lost children to violence will be among the speakers at the rally.
“This just really has to stop. That’s why we’re having this rally, the event, to bring the community together to try and get a solution,” Patterson said.
Jones mentioned teaching kids in elementary school that violence is not the answer. They all agreed that by the time they’re in high school, it’s too late.
The owner of Utopia posted a message on the business’s Facebook page Monday addressing the shooting at the club:
We would like to thank all of you for the outpouring of support following the terrible events this past weekend at Utopia. We ask that you join us in continued prayer for the victims’ families and friends. While we wanted to issue a statement earlier, our ongoing cooperation with law enforcement and city officials has taken precedence. It has been determined by the Youngstown Police Department Chief Carl Davis and Mayor Tito Brown that this was not a targeted crime against the LGBTQ+ community. Our venue was privately retained for a live concert event, and it appears that one of the performers was targeted. Since its opening in 2005, Utopia has prided itself by operating a safe and well-protected venue for all our guests. We will continue to ensure that this practice is followed and that this tragic incident does not lessen your safety. We continue to cooperate with the YPD in their ongoing investigation. Once this has been conducted, we will announce an open to the public date and resume operations, fully supporting the community which has always supported us. Thank you again for your continued prayers, blessings and supportUtopia management