A call for peace days after someone shot three teens during a North Philadelphia block party. Community members say the violence in their streets is unacceptable plain and simple.
“This is not going to be the new normal not in our neighborhood.”
At first glance this is the kind of vigil all too common in Philadelphia. After a shooting Sunday that injured 3 young people who did nothing wrong except go outside politicians and pastors gather to call for peace.
The difference on the 1800 block of Jefferson Avenue? The victims survived and returned to tell their stories.
“I was panicking I didn't know what to do but I had to stay strong. I just knew I had to survive it." Nayyireh Johnson said,
She is 18 and the mother of an 8-month-old son. On Sunday evening, she was walking to the neighborhood cookout when a bullet grazed the back of her head. She was caught in the crossfire of someone else’s beef.
Nayyireh is well-aware fate has given her a second chance. It’s a common refrain here, that bullets don’t have names. They don’t often show mercy to a young mother either.
“I just wanted to come out and tell my story. I think it can change people’s lives. Imagine if I wasn’t here to tell it," she said.
“Standing on the corner with three of my friends— just talking. That’s when we heard the gunshots," Daeja Bullock said.
16-year-old Daeja Bullock was the second person injured in that shooting. She was shot in the leg. She too feels a responsibility to use the voice she was very nearly robbed of.
“I want to tell the shooter it could have been his mom, it could have been her mom, whatever," Bullock said.
Democratic state rep nominee Malcolm Kenyatta organized the vigil.
The third victim remains in the hospital. So far, no arrests have been made.