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Tampa Police Department Sees Increase In Gun Violence

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Tampa Police officers are seeing a spike in gun violence. Officials say the increase is happening all over the country.

According to the Tampa Police Department, within the last month, there have been over seven different shootings that have results in injury or death.

Johnny Johnson's talking about his 17-year-old son and high school basketball star, Jayquon Johnson, who was shot and killed back in January of 2017.

"His last game, he made the winning shot. I watch that footage all the time...It's a pain that never goes away. It's nothing you can go to Tampa General for, or St. Josephs, or even recreational drugs, there's nothing to ease that pain," said Johnson.

Ever since that day he's been trying to make a difference. He started an organization called Rise Up for Peace, which helps parents who have lost children to gun violence and works to stop shootings from happening.

"Just like in Ukraine, people are dying. It's a war against saving lives or people getting gunned down for nothing," said Johnson.

Other groups are also joining the effort.

"I'm really sick of having to watch senseless gun violence all around me and all over the country," said Gail Powell-Cope with Moms Demand Action

"It just grieves my hear to see mothers and fathers who are survivors of this kind of gun violence, to have to bury their children, it's a hurtful thing," said Pastor Clarence Nathan with New Victory Baptist Church.

Cope and Pastor Nathan came together for a rally to end gun violence on Saturday, April 2. Pastor Nathan says he's letting people know they can come anonymously to the church to report illegal firearms, or other gun-related incidents.

"You can come and talk to me as a pastor or other pastors and we will convey that information to law enforcement," said Pastor Nathan.

Tampa Police say they are also taking action, doing more traffic stops, filing warrants, and educating the community on the dangers of guns and shootings

"It's been an uptick. The past seven days we had four shootings and two of those, the people died from their injuries and that's never a good thing. It's hard to deal with at times. Life has a value, you want to live the best life you can and you don't want to put yourself in a situation where you might get hurt," said Calvin Johnson with the Tampa Police Department.

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