Community activist trying to end to gun violence after recent shootings that left 2 teens dead

PITTSBURGH — Darrick Curington is working to stem the tide of violent crime among teens, especially after the recent string of gun violence across Allegheny County.

“Our teenagers is dying,” Curington said. “Our parents is losing their kids and it’s sad. It’s sad.”

Two teens were shot dead in the last 48 hours.

Jeramyah Pollard, 16, a Woodland Hills sophomore, was gunned down in Braddock after a big fight broke out Monday night, April 1.

On Easter Sunday, Kevin Wilson, 16, was shot and killed on Hill Avenue in Wilkingsburg when he was caught in the crossfire. He was an innocent bystander.

“Senseless,” said Curington. “It’s a lot of senseless shooting.”

Another teen was wounded in Pittsburgh’s Larimer neighborhood Monday evening.

“Where is these guns coming from? It seems like to me they’re just coming in, just dropping them in our communities and say, self-destruct each other,” Curington said.

Through his grassroots group, Kutzforcollege, Curington helps at-risk teens, so they don’t turn to a life of crime. He said a lot of his work involves being a mentor to kids and keeping them busy to keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

“We need more recreational centers, more resource centers, after-school programs,” he said. “A lot of kids run around here outside with a lot of time on their hands.”

Despite the recent deadly shootings, homicides in both the county and the City of Pittsburgh are down compared to this same time last year.

The number of homicides in Pittsburgh is down by 25% with 12 homicides in the city so far this year compared to 16 in 2023.

Allegheny County has 15 homicides so far in 2024 compared to 20 this same time last year.

Curington said it’s going to take the entire community to end the cycle of violence and is making an emotional plea to take action now.

“We need a village,” he said. “We got to bring our village back. It takes a village to raise our kids. We need that village back. We need our resources. We need help.”

County Police are investigating the two murders in Wilkingsburg and Braddock.

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