‘This is our responsibility’: Leaders call for change after rise in gun violence in Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — Recent shootings in Central Florida have local leaders calling for change.


Religious and community leaders came together on Wednesday to pray for change. They want the rising trend of violence in Central Florida to stop, especially involving young people.

“This is our responsibility. For all of us to get engaged and do what we need to do,” said Kelvin Cobaris with Cobaris Ministries International.

On Wednesday, a woman in her teens was shot and killed. On Tuesday, investigators said a 10-year-old girl pulled out a gun and killed a woman in Pine Hills.

The sheriff’s office believes guns left in cars to be stolen are a big problem.

READ: Social media dispute led to woman’s fatal shooting by 10-year-old neighbor, investigators say

With 700 stolen over a two-year period, they also want gun owners to be responsible.

They believe that would lessen the chance of shootings.

Pastors are calling for action.

“We’re calling on leaders, pastors, bishops, apostles, prophets, to stand in prayer – even if it’s not in your community. Let’s pray for people all over this world,” said R. Keith Hicks, a pastor with the Orlando West Church.

READ: ‘Sounded like an automatic weapon’: Woman, 19, shot to death in Orange County

The pastors told us they realize life is busy but they want parents to get their children involved in youth programs. They want them to take time to talk to them about their day and their friends.

They want parents to keep tabs on where their children are, who they are with and to keep guns out of their hands.

READ: Pastor: 19-year-old shot to death in Orange County apartment was ‘beautiful young woman’

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.