PITTSBURGH —After three deadly shootings, in less than 24 hours, a young group of teens held a protest in honor of their young friend’s life and in hopes of stopping gun violence.A large crowd gathered at the intersection of Frankstown Avenue and North Homewood Avenue — the spot 15-year-old Dayvon Vickers was shot while riding his bike in Homewood Wednesday around 6 p.m.
“We want peace in our streets, put down these guns we’re trying to have fun,” said Raniaya Williams, the teen who organized the protest Saturday. “If it was your son or (whoever) that got killed, you would do the same thing for him. So we’re here to rep his life, we’re here to stop the violence.”This content is imported from Twitter.
Vickers was one of three victims in deadly shootings within a 24-hour period this week.Police say around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, Devonte White was gunned down in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood and roughly 15 minutes after Vickers was shot on Wednesday, a call came in for a man shot in the head along Kingsboro Street in Mt. Washington.
“We’re ready to take back our community, no more youth dying,” said Antwon Claybourne, a friend of Vickers, who also helped organize the protest.
“This violence got to stop. That’s why we’re here today, we’re here to celebrate Dayvon’s life and put an end to this gun violence, all types of violence.”
During the protest Saturday, both Vickers’ grandma and godmother spoke to the crowd:”I don’t know if he stumbled along the way but this is just a nightmare and I just want to thank every last one of (you) for supporting me,” said Vickers’ grandma.
“I really don’t have no anger in me because my mind is a peace because I know where my baby is at because when he was raised, he was in the church.”
Vickers’ family and friends said he was aspiring to be a mechanic when he grew up, and stood at the corner selling bottles of water to save up for the bike he was riding when he was gunned down.”He sold so much water, he was a little entrepreneur, a little hustler, but he got his bike, he did get it before he left here,” said Monica Beeman.
“Very bright, he was like an old soul. Even though he was in school, he always had a mind of always progressing, doing things better, getting stuff done.”
“He would not dare touch a piece of drug. He sold waters to get the bike he was shot off,”
Claybourne told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4. “This truly is sad, he was really a good kid, he did what he was supposed to, he was never in no mess, it’s just really unfortunate.”
Police are still asking for the public’s assistance with any information regarding the shooting deaths of 15-year-old Dayvon Vickers, 23-year-old Micah Stoner and 29-year-old Devonte White.At this point, no arrests made for any of the shootings. Anyone with information can call 412-323-7800, tips can remain anonymous.
Also on Saturday, the Community Empowerment Association held a public meeting to hear from resident’s about violence in the city and what can be done about it.
The group is calling on increased police presence and more cameras. They’re also calling on Mayor Ed Gainey to help with their new campaign called “Clean Up The Block.”