Lexington forum hosts discussion on gun violence and how leaders can help

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Posted at 10:51 AM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 18:09:30-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With a rise in gun violence across the country, we've also seen a spike locally.

City leaders of Lexington met Thursday morning to discuss gun violence and its impact on the community.

Panelists included Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers, Sheriff Kathy Witt, FCPS Chief Martin Schafer, and One Lexington Director Devine Carama. They discussed what is being done, what still needs to be done, and how leaders attending the forum can help.

With an increase in gun violence, we've also seen an increase in awareness through Peace Walks, pleas, poems, and public service announcements.

Fayette County is on track for a record-breaking number of homicides in 2021. So far this year in Lexington, there have been 32 homicides, with a majority of these deaths related to gun violence.

The most recent homicide occurred one week ago when 17-year-old Sergio Villarados was shot and killed.

According to Lexington Police online data, there were 34 homicides total in 2020, which was up from 30 in 2019. In 2018, the city had the lowest amount seen in recent years with 23 homicides. That was even a drop from 2017 when homicides totaled 28.

As for some perspective, ten years ago in 2011, there were 16 homicides that year.