PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The healing is beginning in a neighborhood that gun violence has left its mark. Residents of Nicetown-Tioga came together on Saturday afternoon for a community day 10 days after a gunman opened fire on police officers in an hourslong standoff.
“We had a lot of bad incidents in this neighborhood and things should get better,” resident Harold Henry said.
Getting better, one shot, one dance, one hymnal at a time.
“We’re hoping this will bring the community closer together and get people to fellowship with us,” Douglas Morales, Zion Baptist Church, said.
The community day block party was put on by the Zion Baptist Church. Everyone was invited — the young, the hungry and even the police.
“We used to have a church picnic out in the park, but we thought it would be better to bring it into the community,” Morales said.
The event is significant because just a week-and-a-half ago, two blocks away, this neighborhood was under siege as six police officers were shot.
Maurice Hill was arrested and charged with attempted murder after a seven-plus hourlong standoff and shootout with police.
Neighbors were in a standstill, homes were riddled with bullets, the neighborhood was wrapped in police tape.
The police tape served a different purpose on Saturday afternoon, however.
“It shows everybody is still holding on to their strength, that there’s a way we can all come together still as a community with all the things that’s going on that’s negative, it’s something positive,” neighborhood resident Sawaya Merritt said.