MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It has been a violent week in the City of Mobile.
Two children were killed in just two days. Law enforcement says enough is enough after this week’s gun violence.
Public Safety Director Lawrence Battiste joins several of Mobile’s leaders saying they’re frustrated, as the city hits 23 homicides in just six months of the year.
“I’m angry. Because it shouldn’t be. I’m upset because there are things that we as a community can do to stop it,” said Director Lawrence Battiste.
While Director Battiste says the community has to take ownership of what is happening.
“Anytime a child falls victim or prey to senseless violent behavior it should elicit a passionate response,” said Director Battiste.
The two children: 11-year-old Lequinten Morrissette and 14-year-old Ciara Jackson were shot and killed this week.
Morrissette was killed Monday evening on Duval Street. Mobile police say he was playing inside his home when he was hit by a bullet.
Jackson was killed Tuesday night on Michael Donald Avenue, she was in town visiting family from Texas.
“She was a beacon of light,” said Fredia Jackson, her grandmother.
Mobile police say she was riding around in a car with her friends when they encountered people with guns who intentionally shot into their vehicle. Her grandmother says she didn’t believe it when she was told her granddaughter had been killed – after just seeing her Saturday before she came to Mobile. “And I said no this can’t be true, where’s she gone to,” said Jackson about finding out about her granddaughter’s death.
Battiste says the community needs to step up, pay attention to what’s going on, and not be afraid of getting someone in trouble.
“Too many people don’t want to get somebody in trouble. So they see something, but they don’t say anything about what it is that they see. So instead of letting them get into a little trouble, you allowed them to get into a lot of trouble,” said Director Battiste.
He says change won’t happen instantly it will take time.
“There can’t be a knee-jerk reaction to the behavior over the last week, there has to be a measured response and the things that we have begun to put in place in the City of Mobile at the beginning of the year with Operation Echo Stop are things we believe will change the trajectory of this community,” said Director Battiste.
Director Battiste says he will be meeting with some of the youth on probation through Strickland Youth Center tomorrow. They will have a sit-down conversation with those families and a mother who recently lost her child to gun violence. The grieving mother will speak with them about how she feels and why she doesn’t want another mother to feel the pain she’s feeling.