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Lexington anti-violence activist discusses Texas mass shooting, recent Lexington shootings

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Posted at 7:55 AM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 07:55:35-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As news of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas unfolded, people who work to end violence close to home were heartbroken.

Ricardo Franklin knows a lot about loss. His big brother, Antonio Franklin, was shot and killed in Lexington's Duncan Park in 2014. Their mother, Anita Franklin, spearheaded peace walks in Antonio's memory until she died in 2020. Now, Ricardo has taken a job as a community outreach coordinator with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, continuing what his mother started.

"I know the feeling of losing my brother, Antonio. No one should ever have to lose a child," he said Tuesday evening, in front of a mural depicting his mother in Duncan Park.

There have been several mass shootings across the country recently and a lot of individual shootings in Lexington. As Ricardo spoke with LEX 18, police were in the early stages of a homicide investigation in Lexington.

"I just keep thinking about the lives that have been lost over the last couple of weeks and it's tearing me apart," Ricardo said. "It's to the point now where it's really an issue in our community. We're seeing it almost every day. This past week's been really, really bad,"

As he works to fight violence in the community, he says any kind of change will require everyone's help.

"We can't accept it. We can't accept it in all of our communities all across this country. When I think about it, I think, 'What are we doing?'" he said. "In society, we're becoming more desensitized to events like this. We see it happen, we process it, and we move on from it, but what we're not realizing is that those are lives lost,"

Ricardo and other community leaders just held their annual peace walk at the end of April. They hope to see a brighter future.

"We have to grow. We have to keep going and it has to get better," he said.