'They're taking lives away': St. Paul activists plead for peace

An anti-violence protest in St. Paul in response to yet another killing in the city. (FOX 9)

St. Paul residents are pleading for peace after a young father was shot and killed in front of his son.

It has been a violent few weeks in the capital city, and community activists took to the streets to urge people to put the guns down.

Monday afternoon, residents hosted a grassroots effort to reach out to young people and have them understand the deadly consequences of gun violence after a 23-year-old father was shot in the head alongside his 4-year-old son.

As the busy rush hour commute began in St. Paul, a group of activists stood at the corner of Snelling and University holding signs to get people to look and think twice about the sudden surge of gun violence plaguing the city.

The group is talking to anyone who will listen. Dennis Bell is a lifelong resident of St. Paul and feels compelled to do something about what’s happening in his city.

“It’s hard for us to live with shootings going left and right, and one of us becomes an innocent bystander,” said Bell. “Sometimes bullets don’t have a name on it.”

St. Paul Police say 23-year-old Jeriko Boykin Sr. died from his injuries overnight after he was shot along with his 4-year-old son in a rolled over SUV. The child is expected to be OK. Boykin’s death is the 23rd homicide in the city this year.

“If we can get a message to somebody to deter them from the violence, then hey, even if it’s just one person, that’s saving a life,” Bell added.

Nubia Queen took her 4-year-old daughter to the event to help reach out to people. She says she is scared something could happen to her child.

“They’re taking lives away,” she said. “That’s the point of me being out here to show awareness to my daughter that I’m out here as well and to protect her future.”