Pleas for change in Tamarind neighborhood, dozens march for peac - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Pleas for change in Tamarind neighborhood, dozens march for peace after 19th street shooting

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Candles and teddy bears sit at a corner on the 800 block of 19th Street in West Palm Beach. The memorial serves as a reminder to the community that another teen has died because of gun violence.

Family and friends of Johnny Davis, 19, gathered where he was killed on 19th Street after marching 16 blocks chanting for peace.

Tears streamed down the faces of those who knew and loved the teen shot and killed just a week ago in his Tamarind neighborhood.

"I feel grateful. I feel grateful that they're here for Johnny," said Diane McNeil, Johnny's mother.

Four teens in total were shot, only two survived.

"We've had 9 murders since June 1st and if I were to give you that statistic for the county that would be a big deal, but that's happening almost in a 2 mile radius," said West Palm Beach Commissioner Cory Neering.

Neering, along with Commissioner Keith James, has committed to drafting a plan for action to curb violence in the city. He says the focus is on jobs, education, and recreational activities for the young people in the troubled neighborhoods.

Since the beginning of the year there have been 51 shootings in West Palm Beach. Johnny Davis is the 14th person to die because of gun violence.

"People protest and they say black lives matter in regards to police killings of African Americans and even whites, but you don't see same outage and protests in regards to black on black violence within the inner city and we want to shed light on that," said Ricky Aiken, who was Johnny's friend and is the creator of Inner City Innovators, a group that mentors young people.

Aiken stressed this wasn't just another peace march, it's a wake up call for the community, something Johnny was working towards.

"Johnny was a part of taking steps in the right direction. He was with us at the city commission meeting offering suggestions for how to curb the violence," said Aiken.

The message in every step for 16 blocks was to bring peace back into the community.

Commissioners Neering and James plan to have another public meeting before the end of the year. 

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