VIRGINIA BEACH -- Lake Edward residents gathered Monday night to discuss ways to fight an increased amount of violence in the neighborhood.

Just over a dozen neighbors turned out for the meeting Lake Edward Area Civic League meeting at Williams Farm Recreation Center.

It's the first league meeting following three homicides in recent weeks in the neighborhood.

'We're not going to be afraid where we live, where we have to lay our heads out and where our kids have to play, we're going to take back our neighborhoods,' said Sharon Bullock, who passed out flyers advertising the meeting to neighbors during a SWAT situation.

While Bullock had hoped more newcomers would turn out, she was impressed by the passionate conversation from those who came wanting change.

Many said the best way to start, is reaching out to youth in the community.

'As an African American, I think it's important that our children, see real role models, leaders again,' said Pastor Kaya Stephen, Lake Edward resident.

The neighborhood plans to hold a community outreach meeting with spiritual leaders in the area in May.

They also plan on holding a peace walk throughout the area to show a united front against the violence.

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