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Advocates against gun violence call past week of shootings ‘troubling’

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 10:49 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been a violent and deadly week across Lexington with four shootings in as many days. Police say three of the shootings were fatal.

“It’s truly heartbreaking,” said Ricardo Franklin. “I hate to see it.”

The feeling of losing someone to gun violence is an emotion Franklin knows all too well. In April 2014, his brother, Antonio Franklin Jr., was shot and killed by a stray bullet at Duncan Park.

“When we keep hearing about it happening, there’s still work to be done,” Franklin said.

He works every day to educate, communicate, and save lives. It’s a mission first started by his mother Anita, who became a voice against gun violence. Sadly, she passed away last year.

“I have to keep speaking about it because instances like that keep happening. I want to see where it is none because there are lives being taken away, promising lives being taken away in a split second.”

State Senator Reggie Thomas, (D-Lexington) calls the violence “troubling” and believes action is needed now before it gets too far out of hand.

“Lexington is a safe city, but we can’t turn a blind eye that we are seeing these shootings and killings here in our own community. So we have got to do something to stop the violence here in our hometown,” Thomas told WKYT.

Thomas says he believes a part of President Biden’s gun control plan that involves community intervention teams would work well in Lexington.

“With the police, with local elected officials, with community leaders, with the mayor, with several different constituencies to say, ‘Look, we want to nip the bud here in Lexington now before this becomes a major problem in our city.”

Franklin says he believes Lexington can get very close to, if not hit, zero acts of gun violence. But until that day comes, he will keep up the fight in his mom and brother’s memory.

“I want to see change,” said Franklin. “I want to see where I don’t have to turn on the news, or hear on social media that somebody has lost their life to gun violence or any type of violence at all.”

A peace walk is planned for April 24 at 2 p.m. at Duncan Park.

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