Peace walk planned to combat Lake Edward violence

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As families grieve and neighbors want to see the violence end, Virginia Beach police continue to investigate a string of deadly shootings in the Lake Edward neighborhood.

Earlier this month, police were called to Barrison Way to find 19-year-old Keshmario Middleton shot to death. The day before 25-year-old James Jones was one of two men shot on Margate Avenue. He later died at a hospital. Days earlier in March, 29-year-old Cyle Strahl lost his life to gun violence on Red Horse Lane.

“When they die young, it’s an absolute atrocity to me, and my heart goes out to the parents of all those who have lost loved ones on the street,” said Deborah Terrell, who has lived in the Lake Edward neighborhood for four years.

The local community is trying to do what it can to stop the crime. On Thursday night, the Lake Edward Civic League is planning to hold a peace walk around the neighborhood to bring awareness to the violence.

Terrell is solidly behind her civic league’s planned peace walk: “To me, a peace walk says ‘hey, we don’t want this in our community. We want this to stop. We want the violence to stop. You don’t carry a gun to take another life. If you can’t give it, don’t take it.'”

Another Lake Edward resident, James Jones (who has no relation to the Margate Ave. shooting victim) supports the walk, but thinks the problem goes deeper than a lack of awareness.

“Peace walks are good, but this violence starts in the home, and the adults need to take over. They need to be more outspoken and stop letting the kids run the neighborhood,” Jones said.

Jones has lived in the area for 22 years and witnessed an uptick in violence in recent years. And he doesn’t like the changes he’s seeing in his community right now, and he wants change.

“The laws should be redesigned to increasing penalties for having illegal weapons. That’s the way I see it,” he said.

The peace walk is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the southwest corner of Baker Road and Hampshire Lane.

Police continue to investigate these deadly shootings and ask anyone with information to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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