DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A first-ever day of remembrance will take place in Durham on Friday for victims of gun violence.
It's part of a national effort organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In Durham alone, hundreds of people have been shot this year, with more than 40 of those dying. For each one of those victims, family and friends are left behind to grieve.
Charlotte, Atlanta, New York and Chicago will also hold similar events Friday. At the events, people killed in gun violence will have their names read aloud by city leaders. Those leaders will also speak and call for an end to gun violence.
In Durham, Karen Wells is still grieving the death of her 15-year-old son who was shot and killed in 2021.
"Why do the youth seem to think that having a gun solves everything?" Wells asked. "How are they getting these firearms? It's too easy for underage individuals to obtain a firearm."
Crime stats in Durham actually show that violent crime is slowing down--with homicides down 16 percent and aggravated assaults down 20 percent compared to this time last year. Overall shootings are also down, albeit by a lower amount: 5 percent.
Still, the push to end gun violence is something gaining a lot of support all the way up to the Governor's Mansion.
"We've seen a corresponding increase in gun violence and death. And when you think about children, now gun violence has surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of injury and death for children. That should make us stop and say, 'We've got to do something about this,'" Gov. Roy Cooper said.
Durham Mayor Elaina O'Neal and members of the Durham City Council will be at Friday's event. That event starts at 3 p.m. at CCB Plaza.