ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Mother’s Day for most is a time to celebrate, but one group of moms in St. Paul spent the day Sunday taking a stand against violence instead.
“It’s a hard place to be when you lose your son, when you lose your daughter,” said Marea Perry, a St. Paul pastor and organizer of Concerned Community Mothers & Supporters (CCM).
Perry and CCM held a march and peace rally at Mounds Park to take a stand against the recent wake of violence in the city.
“We need to go out here and reclaim the neighborhood, reclaim our children, love on these babies, let them know that we’re mothers, that we’re standing strong,” said Perry of the importance of the march.
Saturday morning, St. Paul Police responded to the city’s eighth shooting death at The Parkside Apartments on Wacouta St. and 5th Street East.
“We have one person severely injured, one person is dead, and we have a 29 year old male in custody,” said public information officer Steve Linders of the incident.
The instances of gun violence in St. Paul became apparent on March 6. The first murder of the year took place near Days Inn on University when a 17-year-old victim was shot and killed on the sidewalk. On April 5, a man was shot not far from there on University and Victoria.
“It makes me sad, it worries me, I have two 18 year old sons I worry about,” said Perry.
On April 8, in the offices above W.A. Frost Restaurant, another man was shot and killed.
“When it comes to violence - any kind of violence is not okay. Whether it’s guns, sexual abuse, or mental abuse,” insists Perry.
On April 18, yet another man was shot and killed at the very park mothers gather to rally and march – in hopes people will stop and realize when they hurt one, they hurt an entire community.
St. Paul police said they’ve increased their patrols and have created a team to immediately respond and investigate shots fired calls. SPPD also has community ambassadors working in areas where young people gather to get ahead of the violence.