Lynchburg Community Leaders Meet in Wake of Shawn Moss' Death

      Shawn Moss

      Lynchburg, VA - A prayer vigil is set for Thursday night at Hunton Randolph Community Center for 34-year-old Shawn Moss. Moss was shot and killed earlier this week near 11th and Polk Streets.

      Community leaders gathered Thursday morning at the center to call for an end to gun violence. They say Shawn Moss' death has shed light on the issue of gun violence. That's an issue they say plagues neighborhoods, not just here, but around the country.

      Although they condemn all types of violence, they say they need to start first in the black community.

      "My family is devastated. If anyone has lost a loved one regardless of how you can only imagine what my family is experiencing," said Pastor Patricia Braxton.

      Shawn Moss' aunt, Pastor Patricia Braxton, had a clear message, that she does not want her nephew's death to be in vain.

      "I did not want Shawn to become a poster child to have another meeting for people to get together then do simply nothing," said Braxton.

      She says she was hesitant to attend the meeting, but decided to do so, because she wants to challenge community leaders to take action to help make the area safer for the next generation.

      "Nothing is going to bring him back, but he has a son who is going to grow up without a father," said Braxton.

      Among those in attendance was Lynchburg Vice Mayor Ceasor Johnson. Johnson says overall Lynchburg is a safe city, but one life lost should be seen as one too many.

      "Each house at a time, each block at a time needs to be crime free," said Johnson.

      Johnson says he challenges all African American men to, not only be in their child or grandchild's life, but also offer guidance to other young boys in the neighborhood.

      "Some of those guys will never have a male influence in their lives. So if you are in that community please be that father, that grandfather," said Johnson.

      Community leaders say they plan to meet next month to identify two to three specific issues and come up with solutions to address those concerns.