LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The seemingly inevitable happened on Tuesday night in Lexington. Police responded to what was the city’s 100th shooting victim of the year.
The shooting count does not include homicides. Lexington has had 35 homicide victims this year. All but five died of gunshots.
“It’s crushing to see how it tears apart our community,” said Ricardo Franklin of the latest shooting, which happened on Dale Drive.
While the victim is expected to survive, Franklin’s brother, Antonio did not when he was shot and killed in Lexington’s Duncan Park in 2014. After that happened, Antonio and Ricardo’s mother Anita, who has since passed away, went to work for Sheriff Kathy Witt’s office as the Community Outreach Coordinator. Ricardo is now continuing that work through the Sheriff’s office.
“Getting to those younger generations, the kids and teenagers and letting them know there’s another way, that it does not have to be this way at all is essential,” he said.
“I’m concerned about our community, but the nation as a whole,” said Pastor Richard Gaines.
Gaines is the pastor of Consolidated Baptist Church. He led a prayer vigil on Monday night in downtown Lexington to bring awareness to the city’s gun violence.
“We’ve just got to be more in tuned with the communities around us and be willing to get out of the sanctuaries and be willing to meet with folks,” the pastor said of the role he and his fellow clergymen need to take on.
The pastor noted the gun violence issue is not at all limited to Lexington’s boundaries, and he’s deeply concerned for everyone.
“I’m a husband, I’m a father, I’m a new grandfather, so I’m concerned for not just my own safety, but that of my own family,” he said.
It’s a feeling everyone around Lexington is having because, inevitably, the number of shooting victims here is going to continue rising.