CINCINNATI -- Not far from where stuffed animals mark the spot where 14-year-old Dwayne Lamarr Lewis was found shot to death in South Fairmount Tuesday lays a stop sign littered with bullet holes.
Now, leaders like Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and his department are trying to find ways to stop the pattern of violence killing teens like Lewis at an alarming rate.
"It’s almost like the youth of today, many of them, they don't value life, they don't have hope, they can't see past present circumstance,” Blackwell said. “They can't get past the poverty that they're experiencing, and the hopelessness of their current environment.”
Cincinnati police know they can't stop violence alone. Blackwell said the department needs community support.
James Fisher, works with teens at the College Hill Recreation Center next door to where Lewis went to school, said he knows too well what it’s like to lose a loved one to gun violence.
"We have to step up and save our kids because they're dying,” Fisher said.
Fisher now spends much of his time helping kids find another path in their lives besides dealing drugs.
"The quick dollar is the easy way. Why go to school when you can make a lot of money in the drug trade – but that shouldn't be the thinking,” Fisher said. “We can't keep sending our kids to prison. We got to send them off to college.”
Police have not made any arrests in Lewis' death and have not identified any suspects.