KOKOMO, Ind. — Police in Kokomo released photos of two bikes recovered from a shooting that happened in September.
19-year-old Dayshon Sanders was shot and killed in September near the corner of Taylor St. and Longview St. Police are still searching for who pulled the trigger.
“I grew up in Kokomo. We didn’t have to lock our doors, we could go to sleep and leave a door wide open, no one would ever come in your house,” said Pastor Jack Woodard of Strait Gate House of Prayer.
Woodard says those days are gone. He says gun violence rocks the community on a near weekly basis, and no one is immune.
“Most of the people that are getting killed are either relatives or very close friends to most of the people in the community,” he said. “So it’s been tough.”
On September 23, Sanders was shot and killed just a block from Woodard’s clothing store he has owned for 15 years. Police say Sanders was being investigated for a separate shooting a few weeks prior. He also happens to be Woodard’s relative.
“Somewhere along the line, I wish I could have just kept track with him and kept him from getting in the situation he was in,” Woodard said.
Woodard saw a group of boys riding bikes around the area that day. After the shooting, police say at least two men ran off, and police found two bikes on scene.
“I see the kids that hang around here on that corner, and I saw them that particular day,” Woodard said. “I don’t know who pulled the trigger, but I’m sure it was one of the guys I was looking at that day.”
Tired of the killings, Woodard and others are starting a branch of Ten Point Coalition in Kokomo. They’re breaking the silence, and they hope people who recognize the bikes will break their silence too.
“We live in a community where snitches get stitches they say, so nobody wants to speak up,” Woodard said. “But I would encourage those that do know to speak up, so we could put an end to this violence.”