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Faith leaders, activists react to Tallahassee's latest deadly shooting

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jul 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-25 14:23:14-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — No matter where you live in Tallahassee, gun violence is having an impact on us all.

Two women died Sunday night as a result of gun violence off of Mission Road Sunday night.

Miles from Tallahassee's latest deadly shooting, Reverend AJ Mealor is praying and working to help solve the issue.

"Since 2021, the violence has only kinda of increased in our community," Mealor said. "We've invested in trying to find ways to end that gun violence."

His church, Fellowship Presbyterian, is a part of the Capital Area Justice Ministry, a group of faith leaders from across the city that works to help aid in our area's biggest issues.

After the COVID lockdown, he said he felt compelled to look into how he and his congregation could tackle one of the biggest issues: gun violence.

"We were able to meet together and it was kinda the first come back was having these house meetings where we talk about what keeps us up at night," Mealor said. "The two main things were gun violence and education."

Tallahassee's latest shooting happening Sunday at the Mission Hill Apartments in Northwest Tallahassee.

Two women were killed. Police say the suspect killed himself afterward.

The zipcode 32304 saw 24% of fatal shootings last year.

That is why Mealor works to help prevent shootings in those communities.

"We partnered with Bond elementary to trying to get children headed on the right path from a young age," Mealor said. "We have a lot of people who serve as mentors in our community. "

That shooting hitting closer to home for some.

The news of Tallahassee's ninth homicide of the year left local activist Curtis Taylor devastated and ready to take action.

"This gun violence is real," Taylor said. "Our young brothers and sisters, we are trying to educate them that once they pick that gun up, once you pull the trigger, you cannot retrieve the bullet."

That is why he and the Tallahassee Urban League are taking action and new approaches to ending gun violence and protecting women in our community.

"We want to take that a step forward and be pro-active," Taylor said. "We need to start having workshops and meetings with our young ladies and when you're in a realtionship, the do's and don'ts."

Mealor said everyone working together from all parts of the city is the key to solving this problem.

"We've gone for guns first instead of having a conversation," Mealor said. "I think there are a couple folks in our community that can do that well and just continue to pray hope that we can find the best way forward."