Davon McNeal, an 11-year-old boy in Washington, DC, was getting out of a car to grab phone charger from his aunt’s house. As he stepped out, he was caught in the middle of a shooting among a group of men and was killed.
His grandfather, John Ayala, told CNN the support of the surrounding community is helping Davon’s family deal with the young boy’s death.
“We’re getting through it,” Ayala, a local activist, said Tuesday. “And one of the reasons we’re getting through it is because members of our community is fed up. And they’ve been out with us for the last nine days walking and marching and informing people, ‘we’re not going to take it any longer.'”
“The violence has to stop. Especially the shooting of young people,” he said.
As incidents of gun violence soar, officials, activists and experts have offered multiple explanations as to what could be behind the crime surges, with some pointing to increasing social unrest following nationwide protests and distrust in the police.
Ayala founded the DC Guardian Angels, which according to its Twitter page, works with police to prevent crime. In an interview with CNN, he praised DC police on their handling of his grandson’s death.
“They got on this right away,” he said, adding officers posted footage of the shooters online and were able to track down suspects.
So far, two men have been arrested and there are arrest warrants for two other suspects, according to police.