YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As non-violence week continues, community members continue to spread awareness of the effects of violence.
One Youngstown man says he knows first hand the negative impact violence can have on a person and a family.
“The first time I actually seen a homicide, I was six years old on the city’s south side, and it was a traumatizing experience, to say the least,” said Adrian McDowell.
McDowell grew up on the city’s north side. He said growing up, gun violence was something he became too familiar with.
“When I was 13, my brother, he owned his own dry cleaners. He was actually, he was actually gunned down, right up the street on Belmont,” he said.
Losing his brother to gun violence affected him and his family.
“It was so rough because he was like a shining light for us… It took a lot of prayer, a lot of sleepless nights,” McDowell said.
He said witnessing a murder also had long-term effects on him. Now, he feels it is important to spread awareness on why the violence needs to stop.
“There’s only two ways you can go from that. And that’s either in the grave or in jail,” he said.
He has been working with the Buckeye Elks youth center to help mentor kids in the community.
He said when an act of violence happens, everyone is impacted.
“A lot of people get affected. No matter what the situation is, there’s always a different way,” he said.