Valley organizations react to ongoing violence, say the solution lies within the community

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As many students prepare for spring break, there is rising concern regarding recent violence, specifically shootings involving kids.

Local organizations that dedicate their time helping to curb gun violence say they've noticed an alarming trend.

The Organization Advance Peace says the solution to the problem lies within the community, and they are confident that Fresno can become a safer city.

"Ten year old's are not supposed to be shot, they're supposed to be everything but shot on or harmed in any kind of way. At 10 years old, you're supposed to be living the best life," explained Aaron Foster, Program Manager of Advance Peace.

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Back in 2020, Fresno city officials approved $125,000 to go to Advance Peace to help curb the ongoing violence. Flash forward to today, with 124 shootings this year, compared to 168 this time last year, the numbers have dropped.

Advocates who have been working for years on solutions to decrease violence say they have noticed a growing trend among recent shootings.

"The shooters are becoming younger and younger. We have people on our list 14 years old that are actually shooting right now, so the shooters are younger, so the victims are younger," explained Foster.

Program Manager Aaron Foster believes there is a solution to the ongoing crime and violence.

"If you want to solve the problem, you have to ask the people that are affected by the problem," added Foster

Foster hopes that Fresno will see a better tomorrow.

"This is bad now, but it won't be bad forever. As long as we work together, we'll change it," said Foster.

Advance Peace set a goal back in 2020 to decrease gun violence by 10% by this year and although they reached that goal, they say more has to be done.
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