Youngstown pastor says only 2-3% of residents are involved in citywide violence

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Since the majority of Youngstown residents follow the law, Rev. Lewis Macklin says they should come together to help end violence

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – People in Youngstown might feel nervous with the recent shootings, but a local pastor says this violence involves only a small percentage of people.

On Monday, a shooting took place on McBride Street around 2 p.m. A 4-year-old child got ahold of a gun and shot himself.

“This is a clear example of gun safety and making sure that you secure weapons if you have weapons in the home,” said Youngstown Police Chief Carl Davis.

But over the last four days, shootings turning into homicides have been big news. Like on Friday on Market Street in broad daylight or late Thursday night on South Avenue.

Even though there has been a steady stream of shootings the last few days in the city, Reverend Lewis Macklin wants to remind people that there are more law-abiding citizens in Youngstown than not.

“We have a small percentage, like two or three percent, of individuals that are breaking the law. That means we have 97%, 98% of the members of our community are doing the right thing,” Rev. Macklin said.

But Rev. Macklin stresses that if we want change, we need to do it consistently by having conversations and holding each other accountable.

“I believe we need to be very clear of what we hold as values, what we hold as standards and communicate that and articulate that and expect that,” he said.

It’s even important for those who just want to be a bystander.

“We cannot wait until it happens to one of our own and then we become deeply, personally impacted before we realize there’s a problem,” Rev. Macklin said.

Even this past weekend there was chatter on social media, people speaking about revenge.

Rev. Macklin understands the pain and anger they are feeling, but says not to act on it.

“We want justice to be served and we advocate it in the ways of the system that’s available to use. We don’t take it into our own hands. We’re not vigilantes and neither do we encourage it,” he said.

Rev. Macklin suggests serving on juries and supporting local block watches.

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