Tampa interim police chief to hold community forum following recent gun violence

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gun violence in Tampa is prompting the interim police chief to take action.

Interim Chief Ruben Delgado is holding a community forum on Dec. 28 to discuss solutions on how to address gun violence in the city. Chief Delgado will address what the department is doing and new initiatives he’s putting in place to help combat the problem.

Patricia Brown will also speak at the forum. Brown lost her son Devante to gun violence last March. Police still have not arrested anyone for his murder.

“You can get rid of a headache, but this pain right here, it will never get better,” Brown said. “It’s getting out of hand, it’s too much.”

After losing her son, Brown started “Rise Up For Peace”, an organization made up of other parents who have lost children, nieces and nephews to gun violence. Now, they’re combating the issue, all while trying to give other parents hope. They say no solution or idea is too big.

“We are a village and a community and it will take the adults to stand up, there’s no failure in progress,” Johnnie Johnson said. “It will take us in this community to straighten this issue out.”

The forum will comes following a violent month in Tampa.

On Nov. 23, a 13-year-old boy shot near the Lee Davis Community Center. He died days later. On Dec. 1, a 21-year-old woman shot while in a car in the area of West Grace Street and North Delaware Avenue, she also died days later.

Police say there was a shooting at Skyway Park last Saturday, five people were shot on Alaska Avenue Sunday, three more people were shot Wednesday in the 3800 block of N. Avon and another man was shot to death Thursday morning near East Chelsea and North Englewood Street.

The community forum will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at the Jackson Heights YET Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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