After 2 deadly shootings, Lynn community gathers at rally to end gun violence

Three people died in two separate shootings less than 24 hours apart in the beginning of September.

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Families in Lynn, Massachusetts, are pushing back against gun violence in the wake of two deadly shootings that were less than a mile apart earlier this month.

The first happened at a graduation party on Essex Street; seven people were shot and two men died from their injuries. Less than 24 hours later, another man was shot and killed on Lincoln Street.



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Ivelisse Garcia's 21-year-old son Jandriel Heredia was shot dead at the Essex Street cookout on Saturday, Sept. 2.

“My son unfortunately passed away due to gun violence almost a month ago,” Garcia said Saturday night. “It’s really hard. You take it one day at a time.”

Brian Diaz's 25-year-old brother Abraham was shot and killed at the same party.

“Trying to stay distracted, you know? Easiest way to get through it,” he said.

They're connected through pain, and the grief is a dilemma too many Lynn families have faced recently.

“I’ve never seen the kids in this city in so much pain and it just needs to stop," one woman shared.

The deadly shootings led to an "end the gun violence" rally in the city on Saturday.

“You should not feel fearful when you're around the City of Lynn. It’s a good city with a lot of well intentioned people," Lynn City Councilor Brian LaPierre said. "We’re bigger than that, we’re better than that and I think this is an opportunity to put that behind us and learn from it.”

Community advocates understand the pain felt by the victims, the criminals and both of their families.

“You sit in jail, your mother has to go to visit you, or your family has to go to jail to visit you. And you know how that goes after a while ? Those visits dwindle. And then they stop. And then what?” said Antonio Gutierez, the co-founder of "Stop The Violence: LYNN."

The "Enough is Enough: A march to end gun violence in Lynn" kicked off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Lynn English High School.

What, if anything, will result from Saturday's rally remains to be seen, but for the grief-stricken families, showing up to support is a strong start.

“Anywhere I go even if I go to a restaurant they see me and pay their respects," Brian Diaz said. "And it would be tough to not be here knowing that so much of my brother's family and friends are here.”

No arrests have been made in either the Lincoln or Essex Street shooting. Police continue to investigate.

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