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Grassroots organizers call for unity in wake of deadly Elizabeth City shooting

The community is still reeling, days after a shooting killed three people and injured three others. The youngest victim, who died Thursday, was just three years old.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — There are calls to action following a shooting in Elizabeth City killed three people, including a young child, and injured three others. 

In a show of unity, community groups and residents gathered at Waterfront Park on Saturday afternoon.

"This movement has just begun and we are going to stop gun violence in Pasquotank County and Elizabeth City," said Keith Rivers, president of Pasquotank County NAACP. 

"This is the beginning of a collaboration in this community," he said. 

A grassroots organization called Power of Community pledges to be part of the solution to end gun violence.

"It's on the rise. It's getting ridiculous," said Kenneth Lister, CEO of Power of Community. “I think it’s time for us to take a stand, come together, make a change and do our part.”

Moreover, Rivers issued a call to action, encouraging civic participation.

He also wants to see more resources introduced, especially for youth in the area.

"These communities, in many instances, lack resources to mental health. They lack resources of after-school programs. Unemployment. No jobs when you graduate," said Rivers. 

Vanessa Spellman, CEO of Mothers Against Gun Violence, became emotional talking about a grandson she lost to gun violence in 2018.

 " … I'm so– … no I'm not sorry, because I want people to know how we feel. These people are out here killing our kids and they don't think about the families," said Spellman. 

One of the families grieving in Elizabeth City also attended the gathering.

Kimberly Lee lost her 18-year-old son, Jaquan White, in Thursday's shooting near Perry and Jordan Streets.

She told 13News Now Jaquan was an "innocent bystander" and a "protector." Lee said she was told he died shielding a 3-year-old girl.

One of Jaquan's cousins, Andrea, tearfully called him a hero.

"He always tried to put others before him, which I see him dying of trying to save a baby, really shows his personality," said Andrea. 

Lee started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Jaquan's funeral. 

The toddler Allura Pledger and her mother Takeyia De'Shay Berry died Thursday.

Three men were injured, including Jaquan's uncle who we're told is also Berry's boyfriend.

Police have not released any information about a person or people suspected of pulling the trigger. 

Elizabeth City Police Department, Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are overseeing Thursday's shooting investigation.

If you know anything that could help the detectives on this case, please call the police department at (252) 335-4321 or the anonymous crime line at (252) 335-5555. 

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