SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As we learn more about a violent Saturday night that left nine people in the hospital in Syracuse, we’ve heard from police, city leaders, and a party goer. A Syracuse pastor is now sharing a message about what it takes to overcome violence.
Celebration quickly turned to terror just before 9 p.m. on Saturday. Gunfire sent hundreds of people scattering as teenagers became caught in the crossfire of what we know to be rival gangs, according to the Onondaga County District Attorney.
The Onondaga County D.A. has confirmed at least six people were firing into the crowd at the annual party known as “Rye Day.”
“We can debate the merits of whether or not they should have been out there another time but the fact is that they were injured and innocently injured,” said Pastor Daren Jaime with People’s AME Zion Church.
Jaime was at Upstate University Hospital that night, where the nine victims all ended up, helping families cope moments after they learned their loved one was shot.
“You could see a lot of grief, you could see a lot of frustration and anger,” said Jaime. “I think it’s a tragedy that’s really impacted our community.”
A tragedy that will take time to heal from. Still, he says it’s important to rise above and hold onto hope.
“Each and every one of us have to do our active part in protecting our community and keeping our blocks safe,” said Jaime. To do that, Jaime says it starts by putting the guns down and choosing conversation over violence.
“You’ve got to hold on to hope. We’ve seen bad, we’ve seen worse, and we continue to overcome and that’s not just cliche, that’s reality. Send a message of hope and send a message of love in spite of it, let people know that yes, we’re better than what occurred this weekend.”Pastor Daren Jaime
It’s a message that love and hope can be the most powerful weapons.
“This is a rough season but I do believe that things will get better. I believe that we will get past this but certainly, it’s going to require all of us as a community to band together and come together to be able to right this wrong,” said Jaime.
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For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla.