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City leaders and community members plea for decrease in gun violence in Rockford

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ROCKFORD (WREX) —After a weekend of violence, the City of Rockford has hit a new deadly record.

There have been 31 murders in Rockford this year. Because of this, 2020 is now tied with 1996 as the most deadly year.

Mayor Tom McNamara says these numbers are simply unacceptable.

"When you look at this time of year, it is sad, because everyone who has lost their life is someone's son, is someone's father, is someone's brother or sister," said McNamara.

But it's not just officials who are shocked by the numbers. Community members are also concerned.

Julane Niase is the pastor of United Lutheran Church. Her church sits just steps away from the murder on Teal Lane and is where many people go to church.

"Thirty-one murders? It's almost unthinkable," said Niase. "It's heartbreaking, because it's not just that person's family, it's all the other families that are going to be affected by this fear."

Because of this, she says she wants families to know that they can lean on community members like her during this tough time.

"I hope they know that they are not alone and people are praying for them. We are working and changing the ways of brokenness in the world."

Rockford Chief of Police, Dan O'Shea was unable to comment about the two most recent murders.

Lauren Baker

Lauren Baker is the 13 News weekend evening anchor. She started in April of 2019 after moving from Michigan, where she was a morning producer/traffic reporter.

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