CINCINNATI — East Westwood community members gathered Wednesday for a roundtable discussion on gun violence.
While the community council meets every week, leaders said there was an even greater need for discussion in the wake of Saturday's deadly shooting outside a busy Walmart Supercenter.
"There's so much we have to tackle here," said Rodney Christian, president of East Westwood's community council.
Jamontea Brown, 24, was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Ferguson Road Walmart, a short drive from where the roundtable was hosted at Third Presbyterian Church. Leaders said the shooting, which happened in broad daylight at the start of a busy holiday season, could have a huge impact on everyone.
“A lot of people got traumatized by that,” Christian said. “People are having these shootings where innocent people are gathering around. What’s going on?”
The group looked at ways to prevent a similar tragedy and encourage camaraderie within the community.
“It’s upsetting, especially when we try to work so hard to bring good to the community,” said Te’Airea Powell with East Westwood Improvement Association. “I just wish that we see more people in an uproar.”
Some of their plans involve getting more people to their meetings, especially employees at the Walmart where the shooting happened and people who work closely with children.
"Bringing everybody together — it could be the athletic directors, coaches, community leaders and administrators," said Robert Moore, vice president of the East Westwood Improvement Association.
Powell said combating increased gun violence will take more than a few roundtables, but said it is important to have the entire community face the issues plaguing its streets head-on.
"We have a lot of deep issues...so it's not anything that can happen overnight or next year,” Powell said. “I think we have a large amount of guns on the street that's going to take time to get out the streets. I also think that we need to hold parents accountable as well for their children. We also need to work with the community.”
The council said it encourages everyone in the community to attend future meetings.
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