Neighborhoods in city’s West End need help combating violence

Neighborhoods in Louisville's West End need help combating violence

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Statistics have shown that 2020 has been a violent year. WAVE 3 News dug into the data and learned some parts of Louisville that need more help combating violence than others.

Division two covers neighborhoods on the city’s west end. Police officers are responding to shootings in those neighborhoods more than anywhere else in the city. That area includes: Algonquin, California, Chickasaw, Hallmark, Park Duvalle, Park Hill, Parkland, and Shawnee neighborhoods.

The statistics aren’t just numbers, they are names of people who have faces and stories, but as Raven Sanders, community activist, they have families, too.

“That phone call, that phone call,” Sanders said. It’s a call that no parents wants to get.

“A little bit after 8 a.m. Sunday, I got a call from my daughter, saying my other daughter had been shot.”

Raven Sanders didn’t want to share his daughter’s identity for her safety. He says she was one of the people shot on I-64 around 2 a.m., Sunday morning. It was a father’s intuition that led him to feel something was wrong.

“I woke up, I jumped up out of my sleep, out of my bed around 2 in the morning and I was dizzy, I couldn’t walk,” Sanders said.

He says his daughter was four months pregnant, she lost the baby. She has been sedated for a majority of the time since the shooting. She has severe damage to her gastrointestinal tract and will lose a kidney.

Sanders has been trying to do his part to keep gun violence out of the community and his home.

WAVE 3 News spoke with Sanders at his 6th annual ‘Stop the Violence, put the beef on the grill’ event. The yearly event is aimed to get the community into space where they can learn about the resources available and how they can get an opportunity for recovery.

There was a lot of hope for change in the air at the event. Sanders says he still has his formidable mentality since the shooting.

“This is exactly why I’m out here for this reason - I’m not going to stop,” Sanders said. “Let it make me slow down, it’s going to push me harder.”

This is just one of the shootings that have hit home for families who live within the 2nd division. According to LMPD data, there have been 94 shootings in the district, which accounts for 31% of the crimes in Louisville so far this year.

Christopher 2X is the Executive Director of Gamechangers, a group aimed to curb violence and protect the youth. 2X says there are families who express their desire for a way out within LMPD’s division two patrol borders. The violence in the neighborhood keeps them from doing that.

“They’re fed up with the shootings,” Christopher 2X said. “These are good individuals; who want their kids to grow up in healthy, habitable environments to thrive in. They feel short-changed because the shootings provide a sense of fear, the gunfire is unfortunately too common in the second division.”

Sanders says the 94 people who have been shot could have been a shot at change.

“94 shootings, that’s almost 100 people, 94 people can change the world,” Sanders said.

70 Shootings alone have been reported in the month of July.

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