CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Members of an anti-violence group, Alternatives to Violence, are upset over a deadly triple-shooting Tuesday night along Beatties Ford Road, an area they’ve been working to turn around for years.
However, a daughter is determined to follow in her mother’s footsteps and make an impact in the community, as part of the team.
“It’s a heavy day; it’s a hard day, but it’s also the same for the family that lost a loved one,” said Leondra Garrett, the site supervisor of the Youth Advocate Programs’ Alternatives to Violence initiative on Beatties Ford Road.
Their job is to stop the violence.
“Are we going to keep doing this? One family cries, another one cries; we’re just taking turns hurting each other; how long is the hurt going to continue to go on?” said Dayja Garrett, Leondra’s daughter.
They know sometimes it’s a losing battle.
“This young man that was killed last night, we know him personally. We’ve seen them in the community; I actually went to school with him; my mom has worked hand in hand with him,” said Dayja Garrett.
The team is called Alternatives to Violence (ATV), but they’re better known as violence interrupters.
“When you don’t do it in a timely manner, things escalate; there’s the potential for more violence, and so our job is to get ahead of the violence,” said Leondra Garrett.
Leondra Garrett has been leading the team on Beatties Ford Road for almost three years.
They mentor young people and build relationships with community and business leaders who can turn to ATV with their safety concerns.
“I can’t escape it, my mom; this is her life, and the impact that she’s made, it made me want to just do the same thing,” said Dayja.
Leondra’s daughter, Dayja, just joined one of two newly formed ATV teams. Dayja is on West Boulevard. The other new program is on Nations Ford Road.
“Just because these people are out in the community and not a part of our family doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect our family, even if we’re not blood-related, so it’s definitely affecting all of us,” said Dayja.
They can’t prevent every shooting, but they won’t stop trying.
“We’re coming to this area, just trying to clean it up and make it safer for everyone around,” said Dayja.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say three people were shot at the Sam’s Mart on Beatties Ford Road.
CMPD hasn’t released any information on whether they’re searching for a suspect in Tuesday night’s shooting.
At the last update on Wednesday, police said one victim died at the scene, one is in critical condition at the hospital, and the other is in serious condition.