CLEVELAND– With more than 100 homicides so far this year, Cleveland is number 5 on the list of most dangerous cities in the country.
Today, a community forum was held to discuss solutions in slowing down this disturbing trend.
For 16-year-old Daisha Rice, the shooting death of Ramon Burnett, 5, on Cleveland’s east side last month, hit too close to home.
"Am I going to be next. Is my family member going to be next, is it going to be my mother, my father," said Rice.
Those concerns brought the John Adams high school junior to the campus of Cuyahoga Community College, where a discussion on finding solutions for violence in our city brought out local and national law enforcement, community leaders and public health officials; all on one mission.
Councilman Zack Reed says, "It's a public/private partnership. If we all agree, like we agreed in the early 80's, that we can do better than what we have now, we will solve this problem of violence in our community."
Reed believes a public health model approach will lead to solutions.
One of the doctors on the panel was in the ER when Major Howard, 3, was brought in with gunshot wounds he sustained while sitting in a car on the city's east side last month. Major did not survive that shooting.
Dr. Bradford Borden with Cleveland Clinic’s Emergency Services said, "We rush, we take care of what's presented in front of us to stabilize before they go. But what these nurses are asking is what we can do to keep it from coming in the door. And that's where the public health concern needs to take effect."
As for Daisha Rice, she's part of the mission as well.
She's started a campaign to raise funds for families of victims: a small gesture for a large, ongoing battle.
Rice adds, "It's not a lot of people around my age that's willing to sit and talk about stuff like this....they go with the flow, when their family member dies it's just like 'oh, they're going to be missed' and go on with it. They don't try to stop it, so it won't be another family member or another baby."