Wear Orange event gathers Richmond community for gun violence prevention awareness

Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 6:47 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As gun violence reigns throughout the U.S. and the city of Richmond, community members came together in hopes to stop the ongoing violence.

The Wear Orange event at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery brought gun violence survivors, local officials and families together to learn how to end gun violence in the City of Richmond.

It was an emotional event as survivors recalled their traumatic experiences to educate the community and show other survivors they are not alone.

The city is seeing more gun violence today than ever before. Survivors and victims’ families are completely changed after experiencing gun violence.

“When the initial gunshot reverberated through the building, silence engulfed the room,” said Elizabeth Stout.

“My heart sinks because I know something happened in our city and that another life has been altered and maybe even lost. “Physically and emotionally, they’re still dealing with the scars of that,” said Acting Police Chief Rick Edwards.

A Parkland shooting survivor recalls the day her peace was ripped from her.

She and many gun violence victims now struggle with PTSD, depression and anxiety.

“We waited for 20 agonizing minutes for the police to escort us out of the classroom. In that moment, the innocence I possessed evaporated, said Stout.

According to the gun violence archive - there have been over 250 mass shootings in the United States this year.

Data also shows that over 750 children have lost their lives to guns in our country - in the first six months of the year. In Richmond - multiple students have been victims of gun violence this year, and more guns are showing up on school property.

The Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Shannon Taylor, says there is no excuse for this.

“There is absolutely no reason why weapons of war are in the hands of young people in the streets of Henrico, the city of Richmond, Chesterfield, in this nation. We are in a cultural war right now,” she said.