‘It’s gonna take all of us’ to bring change, pastor says after murder
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We now know the name of the latest victim of a problem that a local pastor warns is deeply ingrained in parts of Augusta.
Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said Shaneikwa Lafavor was killed at her home in a shooting that also injured a man and an 11-year-old in the 200 block of East Taylor Street. Deputies haven’t confirmed whether the victims are related.
The shooting happened sometime before 6:45 p.m. Monday in the Delta Manor neighborhood of utilitarian one-story brick dwellings.
Her death was part of a more than yearlong surge in violent crime that’s taken more that 90 lives across the CSRA.
In a yard at the scene of this latest slaying, a green plastic outdoor chair was surrounded by a tangle of yellow crime tape.
It was a sharp contrast to the sound of kids playing outside around the corner, enjoying the late sunset on the edge of summer.
The yellow tape is all too familiar in the area. In fact, the shooting happened just a few blocks from another one that killed two people a little over a week earlier at a motorcycle group’s clubhouse.
The Rev. Larry Fryer says there won’t be change until the community is ready to stand together undivided.
But he said that’s hard because it can be dangerous work to bring about that kind of change.
Once you start taking on drugs and violence and curbing the flow of ill-gotten money, he said, you become a target.
Drugs are a serious problem, he said.
“A lot of our young people are helpless – and hopeless,” because of drugs, he said.
He said he when he was growing up, young people were influenced by many role models.
“We had the community involved to help steer us,” he said. “But now in today’s society, there is what you call a culture shift. ... A lot of people are just almost on their own.”
FULL INTERVIEW WITH THE REV. LARRY FRYER:
But they need support, he said.
“We must invest in our young people and others if we are going to try to hopefully see a change,” he said.
It’s a sad state of affairs in a community known as the Garden City.
“Flowers are wilting. People are not together. People are afraid,” he said. “There is no trust and people won’t even go out won’t do anything.”
To bring change, he said, “We’ve gotta get that mindset. We’ve gotta get that mind changed.”
Standing against drugs and violence will take coming together, talking together and working together, Fryer said.
“We’re gonna have to come together,” he said. “It’s gonna take all of us.”
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