Students ask for solutions to youth violence in the wake of Metro teen’s death
The shooting happened just before midnight on January 24th. Police said they responded to a report of multiple shots. 18-year-old Gaston died in a hospital shortly after the shooting. A 16 year old suffered what police said is non-life-threatening injuries.
“I’m just angry and I think anger fuels motivation and motivation fuels change,” said Bobbi Scoot, a Kennedy High School student.
Scott grew up near Gaston and said she has known him since kindergarten.
“Andrew is always going to be the person that pushes me to keep going,” she said.
Gaston’s death was fresh on all of the crowd’s minds, but the hope is to keep this from happening to anyone else.
“The fact that they came here and spoke is part of the solution,” said Brandon Jackson.
Jackson is the one that called the event. He said Kids, not adults, need to be the voice fixing the issue.
“Parents and adults a lot of times think we have a solution or know what we should do we’re not including the kids in the conversation,” he said. “We need to have a better understanding of the mindset of what’s going on with their life to get them involved because they need to have a say.”
The group of peers said the biggest issues are the accessibility of guns, drugs as well as gangs. While solutions are still being considered, Jackson said it’s a start.
“The more and more meetings we have the more we can come together,” said Jackson. “The first step is getting people to come to meetings like this and comfortably speak about your feelings.”
A conversation those who knew Gaston said he would have wanted to be a part of.
“He would have loved what we are doing here,” said Scott. “I think this could be something that helps and gives us a platform that we have never had before.”
Meetings will be held once a month.