WADMALAW ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Neighbors on Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island met Saturday night to find ways to stop the violence that recently shook their community.
"We all need to come together and change this thing around," Pastor Thomas Dixon said.
Police, health care workers, community leaders were all present, confronting what they say has become a problem in their neighborhoods.
"A lot of people just sweep it under like it's not happening and it's here and its now and we need to do something right now," resident Natasha Camel said.
The community was hit hard with two deadly incidents in the past two months.
On Jan. 17, 38-year-old Dwayne Blake was shot and killed during an argument on Johns Island.
Then on Feb. 8, 39-year-old Termaine Frasier, his girlfriend, 33-year-old Kennitha LaBoard, and her mother, 54-year old Althea Goss, were found dead in a double murder-suicide on Wadmalaw Island.
Kim LaBoard is the aunt of one of the victims.
"Right now I'm a hurting and grieving mom and aunt," LaBoard said. "We have to make time for these little kids because somebody made time for us."
"And until it directly effects you, that's when you really have the sense of being into want to be apart and get out there to speak about it," Dixon said.
Organizers say events like this are just the first step in strengthening their community but they have a long road ahead. Many said starts with educating our youth and teaching them right from wrong.
"I think speaking up is not being a snitch, you want your community to get better," Camel said.
Organizers say they're having another event there at the Wadmalaw Community Center on March 21. Its focus will be hearing directly from their youth and they're hoping for a big crowd.