Peace for Change Alliance hosts vigil for CO victims, Javon Whiteside

MILWAUKEE -- The mass shooting tragedy in Colorado was recognized in Milwaukee Monday evening, July 23rd. A group of nearly 20 people came together to remember those killed and injured in the Aurora, Colorado theater when 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly opened fire during a midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises on Friday.

A "peace walk" and moment of silence was hosted by the Peace for Change Alliance.

The vigil began at 69th and Villard because that is where 18-year-old Javon Whiteside was shot and killed on July 17th. Because of Whiteside's death and others throughout Milwaukee this year along with the violence in Colorado, a single message was heard loud and clear -- stop the violence.

"I just feel it's what we say that matters. Somebody has to say 'stop the violence,'" Lavelle Harper said.

Vera Granderson and Veronica Williams were sitting on a porch when they saw and heard the vigil go by.

"I applaud them. I loved it. I'm so thankful that I'm sitting here and I saw them coming by, so that made me feel good," Granderson said.

Even though the group was small, those who participated said their message is big, and they hope it reaches more than just those walking.

"Even if it touches just a couple people, it adds up," Williams said.

For LaTonya James, the walk was personal. Whiteside was her nephew.

"This is for my sister, my nephew and just for everybody to come out here and stop the violence. It has to end and it has to end someday soon," James said.

The importance of the peace walk was to try to change the culture of violence that has affected so many lives in Milwaukee and across the country.

Related stories: