CHESTER, Pa (CBS) — Members of the Chester community are coming together with Chester officials, to take a stand against gun violence, with both sides pledging to work together. This comes as police continue their investigation into two shootings near Chester High school.
A recent spike in shooting across Chester prompted city leaders like Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and Police Commissioner Otis Blair to walk door-to-door near 4th Street and Highland Avenue to engage residents.
“It should’ve been going on, but thank God it’s going on now,” Deidre Wilson, a victim of a recent shooting, says.
Wilson is a mother of nine, and is now wearing a sling on her left arm after she was shot outside of her own home, trying to protect her children.
“I came out to put trash out. My daughter-in-law was getting on the bus. I heard one gunshot. It hit my porch right here, shattered my window. I pushed my two children in the house as it was going on, and I took five in the arm,” Wilson told Eyewitness News.
Over near Chester High School, another group, made up of school alumni and former school officials, wore orange for the school’s colors.
They volunteered to escort the teens to school after two students were shot while walking home last week. Another shooting just happened just blocks away from the school the following day.
“Some of the kids just do not feel safe. This just cannot continue. It just can’t,” former school district employee Adrienne White said.
Chester’s mayor also was present and stressed how student safety is among his top concerns.
“We were at the high school earlier today, talking with the superintendent and some of the students, letting them know we’re there for them. We want them to have a safe corridor to and from school,” Kirkland said.
Clergy members prayed outside of Peter’s Market corner store at 4th and Highland.
About three weeks ago, store surveillance video showed a 7-year-old girl and her grandfather injured in a drive-by shooting in broad daylight. Both are relatives of Chester City Controller Edith Blackwell.
Blackwell was shot in her back in 2012 at a Sunoco station at 9th and Kerlin Streets.
“The bullet is still in my back from some young guy that thought I was someone else. I’m coming out of the store and I get his bullet,” she said.
Some residents are calling for more than peace walks.
“We need some police surveillance 24 hours a day, if it’s possible,” one resident said.
“We’re making ourselves more available and sometimes we can’t just do things as normal. Sometimes we have to think outside of the box and go to them,” Commissioner Blair said.
The police commissioner says he plans to lead more peace walks, with the next one set to take place Wednesday morning.