Henderson residents hold second rally against 'senseless' violence
Posted March 29, 2013
Updated April 1, 2013
Henderson, N.C. — For the second time in a month, Henderson residents rallied Friday evening to speak out against a number of violent crimes that have rocked the city since the beginning of 2013.
Family members of some of those slain in Henderson violence were in attendance Friday, pushing some 200 attendees to remember their loved ones and use those deaths as motivation to end the violence.
Community members have pushed for more positive role models for children, who have often been caught up in the violent trend.
Kisha Eaton, who lost her 17-year-old a year ago when he was shot on the corner of a street, said the violence is senseless.
"I never thought in a million years I would be burying my son," she said. " I have to be a voice because he doesn't have a voice anymore. A senseless killing took his voice."
Kids in attendance spoke out as well, saying the violence needs to stop.
Ja'Quasha Ferguson, 10, lost a cousin to street violence.
"I'm coming here to support the people who got killed," she said.
A month ago, many children in the same age group told a huge crowd at E.M. Rollins Elementary School that they no longer feel safe in their own schools because of gang-related activities.
On Thursday, 20-year-old Daquan Foster, of 63 Lynnbank Estates Road, was arrested and charged with first-degree rape after police say he sexually assaulted a 50-year-old woman on the side of Thomas Street.
It wasn't clear if Foster was involved with other recent incidents, but police did not release his picture, saying they were working to determine if the other cases were related. Henderson residents 'fed up' with continued violence
Thursday's arrest may ease some fears in the community, but the toll of recent violence hasn't been forgotten by Henderson residents.
"I am really in mourning for my son," Chascity Judkins, who lost her 16-year-old son a few months ago, said. "We are going to fight back."
In mid-February, Jerome Kearney and Kenya Odessa Hodges, both of Henderson, were shot and killed at the Scottish Inn motel on North Garnett Street. Police have charged Edward Hopkins, 26, with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting.
Less than a week later, 17-year-old Ja'Quon Seward was shot and killed in broad daylight at the intersection of David and Nicholas streets. Daquan Ortiz, 20, was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, and Corey Cheek Jr., 17, was charged with intimidating a witness.
Duane Scott, one of the organizers of Friday's rally, said the community knows there is a long road ahead to reversing the trend.
"We need a starting point, and it starts today," he said.