[Video and Photos] Youth Violence Summit and Interfaith Prayer Vigil
Nearly two weeks after police say two men shot and killed each other in the parking lot as a funeral ended, Victory for the World Church on Wednesday night held a discussion on reaching out and helping youth choose a better path.
The Summit on Youth Violence and Interfaith Candlelight Vigil at Victory for the World Church Wednesday night brought together a panel of prominent leaders and speakers to discuss the issues behind violence among young people and how the community should reach out to them.
The summit and vigil came at the N. Hairston Road church nearly two weeks after DeKalb police say two men, Carlos Henderson Jr. and Delmetrius Heard, shot and killed each other in the parking lot following the funeral of homicide victim Ryan Guider.
"We've been perplexed by the things that have happened as of late," DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis during his opening remarks. "We're here to heal, here to learn, here to lift up."
Henderson's mother, Tracey Benton Henderson, spoke at the summit, reminding people of the resources that are available to help youth and parents. She also said the June 7 shooting was not gang-related.
Henderson's brother, Army specialist Harrison Benton, told the audience of several hundred: "I see more violence here than I did in Iraq."
Among the panel members were Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta; DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James; Morehouse College president Robert Franklin; Gerald Durley, pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church; Trenny Stovall, Director of the DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center; William Miller, DeKalb's Director of Public Safety; and Joseph Williams, pastor of Salem Bible Church.
"Young Carlos Henderson Jr. was 19. He should have been on his way to Morehouse College," Franklin said.
Panelists said addressing youth violence will take everything from strong, involved parents and churches, to spiritual guidance, to young people having the courage to walk away from violent situations.
During the candlelight vigil in the parking lot, people sang songs and different faith leaders prayed.
"Through this tragedy we've learned how to be more cognizant, more caring and more effective in taking care of one another," said Rev. Kenneth Samuel, pastor of Victory for the World Church.