PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Three days after a mass shooting claimed the lives of five people in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia, the community is standing tall in its grief.
As families and friends mourn, they are reaching out for support.
“While they’re healing and thinking about the next step for their family, they’re also thinking about how to collaborate with the community to help the entire community heal,” said Faith Leader G. Lamar Stewart.
The lack of resources during difficult times like these is at the forefront of this community dialogue.
“One victim and the shooter have approached me right here asking me to help them with jobs, with opportunities,” said Voffee Jabateh, who runs the Africa Cultural Alliance of North America on Chester Avenue.
While investigators try to understand the mental state of the accused shooter, there is also an emphasis on healing the trauma now left behind.
“There’s certainly different ways that acute stress and a trauma reaction could be felt by members of the community,” said Dr. Alexia Bonacquisti, a psychologist at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
A ‘peace and prayer’ was held at 56th Street and Chester Avenue on Thursday at 6 p.m.
It served as a collaboration between police officers, who respond to these distressing calls, and community members, who feel the impacts of violence long after an arrest has been made.
The walk was a way for people to reclaim their community after senseless violence.
Along the way, attendees stopped at the memorials made for each of the five victims.
Action News spoke with one walker, Shoshauna Baldie from Southwest Philadelphia, during the event.
She was fighting back tears and frustration along the way.
“To hear such horrible news every single day, every day, every second of the day. It’s gotta stop. It’s gotta stop,” said Baldie.
Baldie’s mother, who also attended the walk, agreed that she was sick of the violence going on in the city.
“I’m a therapist and I work in different neighborhoods, and when I leave my families, I’m looking behind my back. I can’t live like that,” said Jocelyn Jenkins from Southwest Philadelphia.
Another attendee, Dwight Olds from Kingsessing, begged those around him who might be struggling to seek help.
“I’m here to show my community we’re here to help. I’m gonna be out here every day around this youth, around the communities, and let them know we’ll help them,” said Olds.
Before the march even ended, a positive impact could be seen on the community.
“This is the first step in a positive way to let everyone know what’s going on in these streets,” said Jasmine Lane from Kingsessing.
When Action News asked Lane if the march was giving her any hope, she replied, “Yes, a lot of hope.”
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and District Attorney Larry Krasner were also at the peace and prayer walk.
Krasner said his goal for the mass shooting suspect was to have him convicted on multiple counts of murder, and sentenced to life without parole.
It’s a goal that Krasner says his office will deliver.