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'We'll keep standing up against gun violence' | Davenport Peace group holds rally to call on end to shootings

Gun violence victims gathered at Davenport's Emeis Park Saturday with various organizations on hand to offer resources.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Gun violence victims gathered at Davenport's Emeis Park, Saturday, Oct. 1, to stand up against gun violence. 

For some like Stephen Echols, the organizer of the Peace Smoke Family Day rally, it's a continuing battle. 

"This is what I do, focusing on community," said Echols. "I devote a lot of time doing this, I put a lot of time and energy."

Echols believes the way to tackle gun violence is to create close relationships with communities and those affected by crime. 

"When it comes down to gun violence, the actions can cause trauma in families," he said. "To be able to create connections with those families and create relationships with the community, that can go a long way."

Echols also added that he hopes the event will "educate, empower and equip individuals to properly understand how gun violence works and bring it to an end." 

Kerri Nunn attended the rally as well. She lost her son, Marcus Jones, and has been motivated to end the violence in the area. 

“I decided to speak out against it not to make my son a statistic in a bad way, but to get his name out there in a good way," Nunn said. "To help families that may or could be affected in the future."

Nunn hopes to one day be able to bring justice for her son. 

"There's never going to be closure to me," said Nunn. "My son's murderer was never found and I'm not sure if they ever will. That's why I keep sharing my son's story." 

The city of Davenport will host a kickball event to continue to increase awareness about gun violence. It will be at Marquette Park on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Kids of all ages are invited. This is part of Davenport's new group violence intervention program.

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