DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- There are grassroots efforts underway in Durham to restore confidence among people concerned about gun violence in some neighborhoods.
Bull City boosters point to the construction sites all over town as signs that it's still attractive to investors. But longtime Durhamites know there's still restorative work to be done among those at risk of death or a prison sentence.
"I've lived in Durham all my life, and for this city now to go through the changes it's going through. It's tragic," Barber David McMillan said.
Especially with the memory of fatal shots, like the gunfire that killed young Z'yon Person in 2019 as he sat in his aunt's car on the way to get some frozen treats, still haunting those who heard the tragic news back then.
"Absolutely, it was," said McMillan. "It was actually a shock to the community, because nobody expected that to happen."
On Sunday, he invited Durham's families and others in the community to come out for a few hours, with discreet security nearby plus free food, good music, bouncy house for the kids, drinks and more.
McMillan wants all who attend the festivities at Roxboro Road pawn shop's parking lot to remember the theme of the day: Stop the Violence, Put Down the Guns.
"And then maybe, somebody's life might be changed. Something different can be done. And then maybe they'll decide, 'Okay, I'll try a different route.' That's what we're hoping and praying for," McMillan said.
We'll let you know if long term, his prayers and the positive action of other concerned people in Durham do make a difference and reduce the number of disputes that, too often, end violently.