Community upset by 5-year-old shooting death, violence "has got to stop"

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The shock and sadness caused by the shooting death of a 5-year-old Milwaukee girl continues to ripple throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Laylah Petersen's death has people coming to her neighborhood, from throughout the greater Milwaukee, to show support for the family she leaves behind. Among them, there is both reaction and response.

"We are all gathered here today for the young 5-year-old girl that was killed," said Khalil Coleman, with Changing Lives Through Literature program.

They are strong both in numbers and in message.

"The violence needs to stop. We gotta stop killing each other. We gotta stop hurting each other. We gotta stop robbing each other. But in order for us to do that, we gotta be one," said Coleman.

Friday, in front of the house where 5-year-old Laylah Petersen lost her life to a bullet, more than a few dozen people gather to call on the community to come together.

"White, black, brown, I don't care what color you are, this is our community and we are tired of the senseless killing that is going on in our streets. This is gonna end," said Elder Jacob Gatlin, with Redemption Fellowship Church.

Amidst significant sorrow, some call on those responsible for Laylah's death to surrender.

"This has got to stop. And to the person that committed this crime, it'd be best for you to turn yourself in. We not standin' for it no more -- it's over," said Shawn Moore, with Project Make a Change.

The focus remains on promoting peace, in the continuing search for justice.

"We want people to come together to start loving each other, and to bridge this gap so we can begin to heal," said Coleman.

Much of today's discourse involved the idea that the little girl's death should not be assessed as a Milwaukee problem. Several people also stressed the point that this kind of violence has repercussions which extend well-beyond the city.