St. Louis, MO. -- It's been another violent 24 hours in St. Louis. Eight people were shot, in five separate shootings, just in the city, just since last night. In one of the shootings, at Union and Paulian, there were four victims. Three of them died.
Mayor Lyda Krewson says it will take everyone working together to make St. Louis a safer place to live and work.
“The message here today is that guns are too easy to get,” Krewson said at the 3rd annual St. Louis Wear Orange Event, an anti-violence rally in Tower Grove Park, organized by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
“And the violence that is happening as a result of that is really very traumatic for our citizens and so many people,” Krewson continued.
One survivor of gun violence, Mary Hennings, led a group of survivors and activists speaking out about her trauma.
"He died from gun violence sitting in his car," Hennings said of eldest son, Alvin Hennings, who was shot while sitting in car in September 1989, at the age of 19.
In October 2013, Hennings herself was hit by a bullet in her hip while standing outside her home.
"It was so many bullets fired, I was asking god when are they ever going to run out of bullets," Hennings recalled. Five months after she was injured, her youngest son, Michael Hennings, was shot and killed, on his way to meet friends.
"Wake up, speak up, if you see something, say something that's the way I feel,” she said.
Orange t-shirts, balloons, and posters decorated Tower Grove Park as part of the recognition.
"Orange signifies for hunters in the woods, I’m human don’t shoot," explained Becky Morgan, The Chapter leader for Missouri Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Activists say it’s about working together.
"We're talking about taking a total community to stop the violence that’s happening in the community," said Jamie KP Dennis, the Music Director for St. Louis Story Stitchers Collective.
“If we bring the youth together and start the conversation about what is going on in our fair city, we can make the difference."
Hennings says she wants the conversations to be out in the open, not hidden, just because it’s unpleasant or scary.
"I know you're afraid, I’m afraid but don’t kill somebody in front of me, I’m telling," she said.
The people who killed Hennings children have never been caught. But, she says she’s undeterred and will continue to speak out about violence.
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