Community Leaders React to Charlottesville's 3rd Homicide

July 7, 2014

Charlottesville community leaders concerned about the city's uptick of violence in the last couple of months are now calling for action and discussing what should be done to put a stop to the violence.

Otis Edward Scott, 27, also known as "OJ", died Sunday after being shot on the 700 block of Prospect Avenue.

Friends had rushed Scott to the University of Virginia Medical Center but he later died at the hospital.

On the heels of the city's third homicide this year community leaders say it's time to acknowledge the greater issue at hand.

"All of us have to take some responsibility for the three homicides that we've experienced have this year. All of us have to relate and connect and think of the family as our own and then we can begin to build a plan to end violence in Charlottesville," says Pastor Hodari Hamilton of First Baptist Church of Charlottesville.

Pastor Hamilton stands as a vocal community activist and says any violence within the city affects the community as a whole.

"Prospect is where I live. Prospect is where you live. That belongs to all of us. Prospect belongs to all of us. Until we do that we won't be vested in that community and our community," says Hamilton.

Just two months ago Charlottesville saw its first two homicides of the year.

Antonio Washington and Oscar Brown Jr. were both killed within a week of each other.

At that time several community leaders joined together along with the Charlottesville City Council to look at ways to curb violence within the city.

"As a community I think it really signals that there's something we're not getting right and we need to be looking at this really seriously," says Charlottesville City Council member Kristin Szakos.

City Council along with several community voices are meeting Monday night to discuss those plans exactly one day after the death of Otis Scott.

"I think that the fact we've now had another incident really lends urgency to it, but it was already happening. We're already looking at whether it's community response in the face of a particular incident or how we need to do preventive things to keep things from happening or what we need to be doing as a community to make sure people are safe," says Szakos.

Charlottesville Police have made no new arrests in connection to the death of Otis Scott and ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.

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