Activist against gun violence reacts to Lexington tying homicide record

Activists call for change as Lexington ties homicide record
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:32 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -Thursday night’s deadly shooting on Sandalwood Drive marked the 34th homicide of 2021 in Lexington. It ties the record set in 2020.

At this point in 2020, there were 31 homicides.

Activists against gun violence worry this year will break the record.

“How many more are going to happen in those 35 days?” asked Sherry Warsh. “It’s like what is it going to take? How many more bodies are going to have to fall?”

Warsh is on the Violence Steering Committee for B.U.I.L.D. The group has been critical of what they say has not been a strong enough response from city leaders to the gun violence in Lexington.

“This is how I wish the mayor would look at it,” explained Warsh. “Okay we’ve had 34. But if you look at the number of shootings that have happened where people survived, you look at the shootings where nobody got hurt, that would take us over 200 homicides...There’s shootings going on just about every night.”

Of this year’s homicides, 21 are still considered open cases, meaning no arrests have been made. There are seven open cases from 2020. Warsh worries as that number grows as well, saying there are more from previous years to add to that tally.

“We have to go back past last year. How many from the previous years? Several years back are still not solved. I had a cousin who lost his son five or six years ago, they still haven’t solved that.”

Warsh says B.U.I.L.D. is rallying the troops to get ahead of, and avoid, a 35th homicide as they look towards 2022.

Soon, the group is planning to launch their ‘Research to Action’ initiative. They plan to take their findings to city leaders to show what needs to be done to address the violence.

Previously, Mayor Linda Gorton told WKYT that the city has adopted five of six recommendations B.U.I.L.D brought them from a previous research program.

“We have made progress in addressing what is really a national challenge, and we are committed to keep working,” the Mayor said in a statement at the time.

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