Meetings, street soccer trying to kick gun violence in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - They say it's time to stand up and end a string of violence in Lexington. Many people around the city are coming together to make the city's streets safer.

Since June 21, four people have been killed in shootings in Lexington and eight others have been injured. Through meetings and even soccer, folks are looking for ways to help.

At the Lexington Public Library downtown, several people met there to stand up against the growing problem in Lexington. With gun violence affecting some of them personally, they say they hope to take back their community. They just don't know how.

But the owners of Kentucky Street Soccer Association, Luis Martinez and Zac Peterson, believe they've got it figured out, starting up a league of their own. They now take shots on old tennis courts at Valley Park to get kids off the streets and into street soccer.

"It really just gave them something to do," said Zac Peterson, the league co-owner. "Something to have fun with. Something to better themselves in."

"It gives the kids a distraction and keeps them away from other stuff they shouldn't be doing," said Luis Martinez, the other co-owner of the league.

It's an area known for violence but still they're determined to kick the problem, playing for the love of Lexington.

"It got to a point where my parents wouldn't let me come to this park because you'd hear about shootings and stabbings at the Valley Park," said Martinez. "We're killing two birds with one stone. We do something that we like which is soccer and then we give something back to the community."

There will a march to stop violence on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Duncan Park, where Antonio Franklin was gunned down in April.

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