Monday forum speaks out against gun violence in Kansas City, pro - KCTV5

Monday forum speaks out against gun violence in Kansas City, promotes child safety

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According to officers, they have investigated 111 homicides, including 74 using either a handgun, rifle or shotgun in 2017. (KCTV5) According to officers, they have investigated 111 homicides, including 74 using either a handgun, rifle or shotgun in 2017. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Kansas City Police Department has been busy in 2017.

According to officers, they have investigated 111 homicides, including 74 using either a handgun, rifle or shotgun.

In an effort to combat the violence, on Monday, members of the community held a forum to talk about the city’s gun violence, but the majority of the discussion was focused on keeping the area’s children safe.

Jayden Ugwuh and Montell Ross were killed in Aug. 2016 during a shooting at a home in the 5700 block of College Avenue. The suspect in the shooting has still not been found.

Angel Hooper, 6, was killed in 2014 after being hit during a drive-by shooting while she sat in a 7-Eleven parking lot in south Kansas City, eating candy.

The forum was held at Pierson Hall on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.

Several topics were discussed, including school safety, accidental shootings and something that hits close to the community recently, youth suicide.

Nicole Hockley was the forum’s keynote speaker. She is the mother of one of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut.

Hockley's son Dylan was one of 20 kids killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Recounting that day, she hopes her story inspires people to get involved. She says attitude and behaviors need to change before policy, and that viewpoint is echoed by organizers.

Judy Sherry, the President of Grandparents Against Gun Violence says the forum is working on ways to keep children safe from guns, not take away guns from people. 

The point of the forum is to stop the issues that lead up to shootings before it's too late by looking for indicators of suicidal thoughts in children withdrawing or changing behaviors. They also hope to stop accidental shootings by keeping guns locked and stored safely and keep schools safe by talking with kids.

"This is my legacy, for Dylan and for my surviving son Jake," Hockley said. "I want to honor Dylan's death and I want to protect Jake and I want to protect kids everywhere. I mean, what parent or grandparent doesn't?"

Nearly 100 people attended the forum, including a handful of Kansas and Missouri politicians.

For more information about the forum, click here.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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