North Preston residents praying for an end to violence

via The Chronicle Herald

North Preston residents prayed Sunday for another young man shot and for an end to the violence that nearly took him.

“We are such a close knit community,” anti-violence advocate Quentrel Provo said just hours after a 20-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

“Another shooting, another act of violence and another young man fighting for his life.”

Police say they are investigating all avenues after the early morning incident.

At roughly 4 a.m. Sunday police responded to several reports of a shooting on Johnson Road. There they found a North Preston man outside a house, shot.

He was taken to QEII hospital. By mid-afternoon on Sunday, police said the man was out of surgery but they were unable to disclose his status. They could not say much about why the man was shot or by whom.

“It’s early in the investigation, so it would be too early to tell what’s associated to the shooting,” said Sgt. Dave Thibeau on Sunday. “We have officers that are in and around the community today trying to ascertain what has gone on.”

Police, including the investigative unit and the RCMP police dog service, remained on scene for most of Sunday.

The shooting follows a recent string of gun violence that began April in which three fatal shootings happened in less than a week. They are still being investigated and two are thought to be linked. Police are drawing no conclusions about Sunday’s shooting, however.

Provo, founder of Stop the Violence, was heartbroken when he heard the news.

He attended a church service Sunday that echoed sentiments expressed at a vigil at Saint Thomas United Baptist Church last month to remember all of the young men who have died violently. Instead of talking about the most recent incident, Provo said people were praying for the young man and praying for an end to violence.

Despite attempts to spread awareness, Provo says the province is experiencing a cycle of violence—one that won’t be stopped anytime soon.

“It’s going to continue,” said Provo. “By the end of summer we may have a few more young people who are going to be dead.”

This grim prediction may cause some people to stop the fight. But Provo thinks now is the time his fight to stop violence is the most important.

“When we stop talking about it and when we stop working towards creating a safer environment…that’s the moment we give in,” said Provo. “Eventually, the cycle will break.”

The shooting may have happened in North Preston, but Provo doesn’t want that to taint what people think of the community. “Violence is a Nova Scotia problem,” he said.

Last April, 20-year-old Daverico Downey was found fatally shot outside on Downey Road in North Preston. The vigil followed not long after.

“This effects the community as a whole,” Provo said in an interview. To make a difference, all Nova Scotians need to work together, he said.

This week the province will be signing a proclamation to declare June 10 Stop the Violence Day. “We have to get back to loving each other. . .trying to work together with the community, with the police and with the government,” said Provo.

The investigation is still in its early stages. Anyone with information is being asked asked to call police at 902-490-5020 or Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Original publish date: Jun. 5, 2016

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