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Faith Leaders And Family Members Demand Change After 22 Deaths In New Haven This Year

 Reverend Boise Kimber calls on Yale and other New Haven institutions to use their resources to stop the rise of gun violence in New Haven.
Ali Oshinskie
/
Connecticut Public Radio
Reverend Boise Kimber calls on Yale and other New Haven institutions to use their resources to stop the rise of gun violence in New Haven.

Zaina Lopez’s son was shot to death Sept. 5 in New Haven, and Lopez says she‘s not going to stay silent on the issue of gun violence in New Haven.

Speaking from the pulpit at New Haven’s First Calvary Baptist Church, she said, “I just want to let everybody know that this mom right here is gonna make a lot of noise, ‘cause my son’s life was not in vain.”

Her son, Zaire Luciano, 30, is one 22 people killed in shootings this year in New Haven. Three of those deaths happened in the last week. And this year’s death count is already higher than the 20 killings from all of last year in the city.

Homicides and nonfatal shootings had been going down over the past decade or so in New Haven, according to an analysis by the New Haven Independent.

Rev. Boise Kimber, pastor of First Calvary and president of the Greater New Haven Clergy Association, said, “There is an epidemic that is going on in the city of New Haven, and that epidemic is violence, shooting, guns and murders.”

Kimber called on Yale University, Yale New Haven Hospital and other New Haven institutions to use their resources to end the problem.

“We are planning to bring these individuals to the table to talk to us in reference to what they can do to help in this crisis in which we are in,” Kimber said.

He said this shooting involved what he called an illegal bar -- that could not be immediately confirmed. He also called for a crackdown on after-hours bars.

Copyright 2021 Connecticut Public Radio

Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Ali reports on the Naugatuck River Valley with an emphasis on work, economic development, and opportunity in the Valley. Her work has appeared on NPR, Marketplace, and The Hartford Courant.