Lexington Forum holds event to discuss ways to curb gun violence in the city

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 11:30 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington city leaders are working on ways to curb gun violence in the city.

This year, more than one hundred people have been shot.

The city has taken some steps to try to slow down the shootings, focusing on the youth. One week ago, 17-year-old Sergio Villarados was found shot and killed in his car. His death marks the city’s 32nd homicide.

Thursday, morning leaders in Lexington sat down to have a conversation about the city’s gun violence problem.

The Lexington Forum hosted Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers, Sheriff Kathy Witt, Fayette County Public Schools Police Chief Martin Schafer and One Lexington Director Devine Carama to talk about gun violence.

The city is on track to break a record for the most homicides in a year. Gun violence was on the rise before 2021. The number of incidents ticked higher between 2019 and 2020.

City leaders say they’re working to reverse that trend. They said social media, access to guns and systemic issues are to blame.

Police Chief Weathers said there’s no one solution to ending the violence. He says it will take help from everyone in the community.

“What we tell people is you can’t just sit on the sidelines anymore. You can’t just step up and say something. You’ve got to step in and be involved and then you have to step out there and actually be boots on the ground,” Weathers said.

Many of the speakers said they want to focus on connecting more with the young people who live here. They said building those relationships could prevent crime.

Lexington has had at least 146 shootings so far this year. All but one of the 32 homicides have been gun-related.

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