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'We Believe in YOUth' rally aims to tackle gun violence in Tallahassee

Posted at 6:19 AM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 06:19:05-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(WTXL) — Fighting gun violence with fun.

Florida A &M head football coach Willie Simmons says he wants to see a change happen this year in Tallahassee and he's going to be a part of making sure it happens.

With nearly 70 shootings in 2019 Simmons says the key to preventing more lives from being taken is spending more time with teens.

Simmons teamed up with FAMU and Tallahassee Police for "We Believe in YOUth."

People came out to the Walker Ford Community Center for food, dancing and speeches on how we should tackle violence in the city.

Coach Simmons says personally he sees how bad things got last year.

He hopes events like this encourages not only teenagers to do better.

But also reminds people the importance of raising the next generation.

"Here in the Capital City -- seeing what's happening in our community in the last few months with the gun violence -- with the amount of shootings that we've had -- myself, some other members of the community felt that it was important that we do something," said Willie Simmons, FAMU Head Football Coach.

Simmons first starting coming up with a game plan to stop violence after 16-year-old Amarion James was murdered on November 17.

Former Godby High School student Trent Lee was also shot that same Saturday after the North Florida fair.

He died just says later.

Simmons also spoke to students at Griffin Middle and Godby high school about the importance of ending gun violence right before the holiday break.

More than 300 people came out to Peace up, guns down.

Simmons says seeing that many people pack the place...helps him stay motivated in making a change here in the Big Bend for the better.