Violence saddens Portland neighbors who've worked for change - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Violence saddens Portland neighbors who've worked for change

Portland has been a shining example of revitalization in the Louisville area and The Tim Faulkner Gallery has been a big part of the progress in recent years. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Portland has been a shining example of revitalization in the Louisville area and The Tim Faulkner Gallery has been a big part of the progress in recent years. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Portland has been a shining example of revitalization in the Louisville area and The Tim Faulkner Gallery has been a big part of the progress in recent years.

On Sunday, members of the Church of the Promise walked down to the gallery to hold a prayer service hours after a deadly shooting happened at a concert held inside of the gallery.

Savannah Walker, 20, was killed in the shooting. Five others were injured.

Prayers were not only for the victims and their families, but for the neighborhood to start the healing process.

Pastor Larry Stoess said, "One act of evil can sometimes characterize a neighborhood and it's really, really unfortunate." 

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Stoess is also the President of Portland Neighborhood Association group, Portland Now. The group is intent on making sure the shooting at the gallery does not define the venue or the community. Stoess said Faulkner and his team have helped rebuild Portland in part. People all over Louisville, who
might otherwise skip the community come to the gallery to see the work of new artists, or to enjoy a non -profit fundraiser in the huge space. Bible study groups also meet there and area kids come for yoga classes.

"It was devastating," Brenda Duffey, a neighbor and Portland Now volunteer, said of the shooting. "I hope I don't cry."

Duffey, who's an author, has held two book signings at the gallery. She grew up in the neighborhood and came back after seeing its progress.

“It hurt a lot because so much has been happening that is good." she said of the weekend violence. "We’ve got a film committee there on Portland Avenue, Louisville Visual Arts and so many people are moving back in and it's vibrant and it's exciting, so it was just crushing news."

WATCH: Connie Leonard’s report

Portland Business owner Mike Neagle hopes people realize this was another event where
violence happened as a promoter took over a venue.

"I think it's frustrating not only because someone lost their life," he said, "a lot of people were injured and the people that weren't injured were probably scared out of their minds, but it also tarnishes
something that brought life to the neighborhood."

The neighborhood association said they will do everything in their power to help the gallery and the community move forward.

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