BAKER, LA (WAFB) - People are not taking the tragic murders of three teens sitting down. A new movement aimed at preventing violence swept through the City of Baker on Saturday morning.
Dozens gathered in front of the Baker Civic Club, where violence erupted two weeks ago. Three teens Deontrey Claiborne(19), Marcell Franklin(15), and Kendal Dorsey(15) died when another teen opened fire at a birthday party. Their peers are still feeling the impact of their sudden loss.
"It brought us together. It brought the school down, but it definitely brought us together," Tommanika McElveen said.
"I don't understand why we can't just all come together and be as one. Why can't we have a party and have fun without all of this confusion and commotion," Cinnamin White said.
Javaugn Simmons(19) was shot and lived. While he is not quite ready to talk about the shootings, he is making his stance against violence known.
He joined Parents Against Violent Exposure (PAVE) in encouraging others to practice peace.
Organizer, Tresa Jones, said the violent incident at the Baker Civic Club struck a chord.
"This was so tragic and so senseless that it ignited a fire within us," Tresa Jones said.
"It just changed everybody. It changed everybody," Cinnamin White said.
Baker High School Cheerleaders marched through Baker hoping to promote change.
New Gideon Baptist Church Pastor Thomas Bessix believes it is possible but admits there is a long road ahead.
"It begins with being able to have a conversation with a brother or a sister and helping them understand there is a better way. I think if you open the door of opportunity, they will walk through it," Thomas Bessix said.
PAVE rolled out their welcome to the Baker with a small army of supporters behind them. But their message resonated through the city.
"Although the numbers are not very large, the heart is very large and the people involved here are open," Police Chief Mike Knaps said.