NYC Anti-Violence Advocate Gunned Down in Florida
A New York-based anti-gun activist was shot to death while vacationing in Miami Beach, CBS reports.
Lavon Walker was shot twice at 8th Street and Ocean Drive just before 7 a.m. Sunday. Officials say surveillance captured a white Jeep speeding through an intersection just a block away from the scene of the crime.
Wakler was taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.
Friends of the husband and father of two said his life was cut short by the very violence he sought to prevent.
“It’s terrible considering that this was an activist who tried to curb gun violence,” said Mitch Novick.
The 30-year-old Brooklyn native was active in Save Our Streets, an advocacy group that worked to curb gun violence. He was reportedly one of four volunteers that conducted outreach in areas where there were clusters of shootings. The program is partially funded by the U.S. Justice Department.
We find out what their needs are, anything that’s going to gear them or shift them to a different mentality toward gun violence,” he told the New York Times in 2010. “We become like their bigger brothers, even closer than their fathers.”
A friend of Walker’s said he was in South Florida to relax on the one year anniversary of his mother’s death. He was having breakfast at News Cafe when three men in a white Jeep Cherokee drove up and opened fire.
“He was a Youth Minister at his church and constantly in the community fighting for individuals to resolve their differences peacefully,” His friend Kenneth Edwards wrote on Facebook. “Sad that he lost his life in the manner which he fought to end.”
On Tuesday, a vigil was held on the doorsteps of Save Our Streets in memory of Mr. Walker.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS. There is a reward of up to $3,000.