ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A passionate town hall in Annapolis to address violent crime.
The community is still reeling after an overnight quadruple shooting last weekend that took the life of 28-year-old Shawn McGowan.
“Don’t have a town hall meeting while we grieving," said one speaker, who lives in Annapolis. “I don’t want to keep losing people that I love and care about and hope somebody be there while I'm grieving trying to get something done about what’s going on.”
More than 50 people were inside a local church to demand city leaders do something about the gun violence that continues to leave behind mourning loved ones.
“This is not right. Not right," said Jamal McGowan, the father of Shawn McGowan.
Shawn's parents are calling for people to put the guns down, but they also blame the lack of opportunities as one of the reasons why the crime is happening.
“We need to stop fighting one another. This needs to end. This needs to end," said McGowan.
Shawn's mother added, "until we get the guns off the street [and] give our children better opportunities, not just talk about them, this will continue."
Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson said he’s going to do everything in his power to make neighborhoods safer. But, he said he also needs the community’s assistance to come forward if they have information to help solve the McGowan case and other violent crimes.
“Anytime, somebody dies under my watch I take it personally," he said. "Video evidence cannot testify. We need human beings who say enough is enough.”
Harold Lloyd, who is a resident of Annapolis and attended the town hall, said he’s tired of coming to town halls and remains skeptical anything will change.
"These communities are filled with people who are hurt," he said. “I’m not quite fond on words anymore. It’s more about action and legislation. If we know you are not going to take the right type of action that we need in these communities, it's time we vote them out."
Lloyd added, "this is serious now. We are tired of living like this.”