PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A meeting about preventing gun violence in Philadelphia is interrupted after a brother of one of the advocates was shot. It’s a frightening moment that could not emphasize more the need for change.
The gun violence epidemic in Philadelphia has no boundaries. One of the latest victims is the brother of a young man whose main focus is curbing violent crimes in the city.
The reality of Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic crashes a virtual hearing. Tuesday’s City Council Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention came to a halt.
“I didn’t want to sign off without kinda like letting the people that’s on here know how real gun violence is. My brother just got shot,” John Solomon said.
Solomon had tuned in fully expecting to talk about his organization, Endangered Kind, but before having to log off he jumped the line to testify. His brother had just been shot.
“This is kind of an emergency situation so I’m gonna head out, and kinda see what’s going on,” Solomon said.
That was one of the 394 non-fatal shootings so far this year.
Solomon was once on the other side of the law. But after going to prison as a teen for a weapons charge and attempted murder, he says if he can transform, there’s a great chance other young people in the city can do the same.
“Change is possible because I was deeply entrenched in gun violence as early as 13 years old,” he said.
At 23, he now uses his influence to help those around him, who in turn also help others.
“Even though I’m young, I’ve been through a lot, I’ve seen a lot myself, so if I can prevent them to not see the things I’ve seen, as far as the violence, because these young kids out here getting hurt,” Bill of Northwest Philadelphia said.
Solomon says his brother is still recovering and will be OK. He says that incident further solidifies the work he has set forth.