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Anti-Violence Advocacy Group Holds Vigil In Wake Of 328th Homicide In Philadelphia

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(credit: CBS) Jenn Bernstein
Jenn Bernstein joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly as a general assign...
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By Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police say a 27-year-old man is the latest victim of a gun crime in Philadelphia.

It happened in the Cobbs Creek section of the city. Police say the victim was shot in the head around 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning on the sidewalk near Christian and South Cecil Streets.

Neighbors say the man had a young child and lived with his mother just a few doors down.

His death marks the city’s 328th homicide of the year; that is 5 more than 2011.

“It outrages us, it outrages us, that the senseless violence continues,” said Vernetta Burger, with Mothers in Charge, “we re-enter our own experiences we feel the pain of the parent.”

Mothers in Charge is an advocacy group that strives to end violence in Philadelphia.

Vernetta said Thursday’s homicide is another example of why the organization’s mission is so important. She joined after her own experience of losing her son, 19-year-old Solomon Montgomery. He was just mere months away from heading to Penn State. Solomon wanted to be a youth advocate.

“He was murdered in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia, April 14th, 2010. He was shot over 14 times senseless killing,” said Vernetta.

Dorris Saunders is also a member. Her daughter, 18-year-old Chakia Saunders, was the victim of random gunfire, seven years ago.

“She was just so friendly and outgoing and she loved people, she loved to dance,” said Saunders, “the worst thing that could have happened to me, already happened.”

So what can be done? These mother’s say education is key.

“Education with the parents and education of the children of how to positively navigate through the culture of the streets,” said Burger.

Mothers in Charge say even if they save one child and parent from another senseless killing, their work is worth it.

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