Lexington anti-violence advocates look for change after shooting

Posted at 7:59 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 09:48:06-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Wednesday brought another death due to gun violence in Lexington, highlighting the issue as the number of people shot and killed in the city reaches 26 this year.

A witness saw 29-year old Dietrich Murray stumble out of an alleyway and fall down in the middle of North Broadway in Lexington. When they approached him, they realized he’d been shot and was bleeding.

Witness Courtney Christian said Murray, the father of five, told her to tell his children that he loves them. She’d ran over to try and stop his bleeding. Murray died after being taken to UK Hospital.

His family Wednesday shared their heartbreak.

“I love my brother, we all love him and were gonna miss him,” sister Jessica Jones said.

“He was funny, he wasn’t scared of nothing or nobody he just had his own personality.”

Murray represents the 26th homicide due to a shooting in Lexington this year. It’s a number the anti-violence group BUILD doesn't want to rise any further.

“We’re on track to double last year’s record setting number and in a city like Lexington, it’s unacceptable,” said BUILD Volunteer Bryna Reed.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton addressed the shooting, and the path forward, saying they are working to recruit more officers and focus on youth. They are starting to see success there she said.

“We are putting a lot of resources to this and a lot of different kinds of programs to effect it,” Gorton said.

Reed said they are not satisfied with the actions Gorton and the city has taken to decrease gun violence.

“We cannot afford to lose another life when there are strategies that can address this.”

They are focused on GVI, which involves identifying those most likely to be involved in shootings and making it clear to them “the violence must stop, we are no longer going to tolerate it and if it continues there’s going to be swift consequence.”

Their strategy would also involve providing resources to those they identify and help steer them in the right direction.

Instead of sending more people to jail, Reed said they want to focus on keeping people "safe, alive, and out of prison.

Police have not made an arrest in the shooting, but they told LEX18 they have a description of the suspect.