Civic and religious leaders gathered in Pasadena on Sunday to launch a peaceful crusade against violence after Christmas Day incidents in which a resident was gunned down in a drive-by shooting and two others -- including a Glendale woman -- died in a crash caused by a parolee allegedly trying to evade police.
Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard told a crowd of nearly 300 at the steps of All Saints Episcopal Church near City Hall that the task is to rid the city of gun violence and replace it with hope and guidance.
“The purpose is to gather to drive away the real threat of violence that plagues us,” Bogaard said. “We hope that in the next hours we will replace the sense of despair and loss with a sense of confidence.”
On Christmas Day, Victor McClinton, 49, was the victim of stray gunfire during a Newport Avenue drive-by, according to police. A civilian worker in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a longtime volunteer organizer of a youth sports league, McClinton’s death spurred an impromptu gathering of hundreds of people outside City Hall on Thursday.
Also on Christmas, Tracey Ongtan, 25, of Glendale and Kendrick Ng, 11, of Daly City were killed when Pasadena resident Darrell Williams slammed his SUV in their minivan while allegedly speeding away from an encounter with police. An occupant of the SUV allegedly tossed a loaded gun from the car during the pursuit, police said.
At Sunday’s rally Ricky Pickens, a leader at the Flintridge Center in Pasadena and one of the organizers of the event, said inner city youth, their families and community organizers are ready to bring about a change.
“I want to tell you our young people are willing to come out to redirect their paths in life,” he said. “We have the resources to go deeper to address gangs."
-- Alfredo Santana, Times Community News