COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - In an effort to eliminate violence, the community has to start by working to reduce it.
WTVM’s Victory Over Violence campaign is hoping to help start the conversation about solutions to the violent crime in the community.
One mother, who’s son was murdered in 2019, shares the same goal and is taking action.
Tanya Weaver’s son, Dontrell Williams, was the Columbus State University student and army veteran killed while working the overnight shift at a Circle K store in September.
Weaver is hosting an event with hopes of bringing together the city’s top leaders to march for an end to gun violence.
“The reason for the march is so that the community can come out and let the leaders of the city know that we are tired of the murders and the crimes that happened in Columbus in the past year," Weaver said.
Out of her grief, Weaver started Moms Against Gun Violence and is hosting a march Saturday where several city leaders plan to be in attendance.
“Her son and my son were friends and I think it was kind of a wake-up call,” said Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins.
“Enough is enough and something needs to be done about it," Marshal Greg Countryman added.
Columbus saw 41 murders in 2019 and nine so far in 2020. A majority of those involved guns. Officials said law enforcement and government agencies can only do so much. Community initiatives are where the real solutions lie.
“There are multiple initiatives going on in this city right now," Mayor Skip Henderson said. " [There are] people who are trying to create programs to stop the violence and that’s a good thing.”
“Law enforcement is only as good as the citizens in the community allows us to be," Police Chief Ricky Boren said. "And with strong citizen support, you will see strong law enforcement.”
The march is scheduled for Saturday starting at the Delta House on Forrest Road at 11:15. a.m. The march is just over a half-mile long.
4925 Forrest Road is the address for the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority House.
“If this march can change just one person’s heart or mind, I think we will all be pleased with that," Weaver said.
It sends a strong message of unity knowing all of these city leaders plan to be in attendance.