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NORFOLK -- Local churches are stepping up outreach to youth groups after a string of shootings left 15 people hurt over the 4th of July weekend.

Diggs Town, a neighborhood off Campostella Road, was the scene of the most victims.

Two separate shootings in the span of 24 hours left six people injured.

After hearing of the violence Saturday, Pastor Al Harris of the Chesapeake-based Life Line Ministries sent members of his church to the neighborhood to reach out to youth.

'When we look at what's happening with the youth in our neighborhoods, they really do need help and we believe as a church that we should be providing that help,' explained Harris.

In a statement released over the weekend, Norfolk's Police Chief, Michael Goldsmith, condemned the violence and urged community-based group like Harris' church, to get involved steering youth away from violence.

'Unfortunately our mindset becomes a part of what we see and if our youth continue to see gun violence and selling drugs, then they will believe that this is what they're supposed to be a part of,' said Harris.

Both Mayor Paul Fraim and Chief Goldsmith declined 13News Now's request for an interview Monday.

Norfolk's Vice Mayor, Angelia Williams, also would not address the violence on-camera, but said Chief Goldsmith would address city council Tuesday.

Pastor Harris says law enforcement and community groups must work together immediately to address the sweeping violence, or suffer the consequences.

'If we're not careful, this will blow up to be a retaliation that will be way beyond what we're capable of even imagining,' Harris said.

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