Community activist speaks out after violent, deadly weekend in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND — A community activist is speaking out following a violent, deadly weekend across the city of Cleveland.  In just 24 hours, between Saturday afternoon and Sunday, there were multiple and separate shootings around the city that left several people dead and others in critical condition.

Cleveland police, detectives and the county coroner are trying to figure out how four people died after their bodies were found inside a vacant house.

This happened Saturday around 9 p.m. when Cleveland Police discovered the bodies in a third floor bedroom of a vacant house on East 144th Street.  The bodies were so decomposed, police were unable to determine the victims’ genders and ages.  The coroner is investigating the cause of death and working to identify the individuals.

Police also said a gun was found.

Residents told FOX 8 the house had a history of drug dealing.

Also on the city’s east side, police say a 25-year-old man was shot in the head and killed 11 p.m. Saturday on Alhambra Road.  The medical examiner identified the victim as Tauvarsion Waller.

Another man was found shot in a field nearby and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center.  Police found a gun on a street close by.

Saturday afternoon a man was shot twice on Caleb Court. He was also rushed to Metro.  His condition is currently unknown.

Also Saturday night, police were called to E. 38th Street and Longwood Avenue where a 21-year-old man was shot and killed around 10:30 p.m.

Then, Sunday morning, around 3 o’clock, Cleveland police say they were called to Detroit Avenue, on the west side, where a 21-year-old man was shot in the head.  He was taken to Metro with life threatening injuries.

Also early Sunday morning, around 4 o’clock, a 20-year-old woman was grazed by a bullet walking out of the Chicken and Waffles Diner on Prospect Avenue.  Police said she was in stable condition.

“There’s an epidemic of violence in this city,” said Khalid Samad from Peace In The Hood.

The longtime community activist is perplexed about the wave of violence that swept through Cleveland over the weekend.  Samad believes many of the shootings are over petty differences that lead to impulsive shootings.

“We call it self sabotage,” Samad said.

Samad doesn’t know the motive behind these most recent shootings, but believes many of the shootings are retaliation, while others become targets over insignificant disputes.  He has candid advice.

“I encourage these young men, who have their lives together, to leave the city. Go somewhere else. Because if you’re a target by these people they’re not going to stop,” Samad said.

Samad takes his message of peace to neighborhoods, parks and prisons, but said lately young men turn their backs on prison re-entry programs.

“I didn’t know they had their druthers whether they would get involved, or not get involved and try to make their lives better,” Samad said.

As of late Sunday night, there have been no arrests in any of these cases.  Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call Cleveland Police.

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