Springfield Pastor hopes rally will help in prevention of violence

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A rally will be held in response to the first murder of the year in Springfield Thursday night that took the life of a young man.

Fifteen-year-old, Devante Green was shot multiple times Monday night at 17th Street and East Lawrence Avenue in Springfield.

Close to 100 people are expected to be at the rally. Pastor James Hodges says his goal is to mobilize the community to work together to prevent future violence. He hopes the rally will allow him to reach out to the teens affected by this tragedy and show them that retaliation is not the answer.

"Try to encourage our young people to turn the other way, do more positive things because if not, it's going to be a cycle and we don't want this cycle to continue," said Pastor James Hodges, the King's House Church of the Living God. "We don't want any retaliation because it could cause a ripple effect throughout the community."

Pastor Hodges says the rally is just the beginning of an effort to stop the cycle of violence in the neighborhood where Devante Green was killed.

Springfield Police Deputy Chief Clay Dowis says he is seeing younger and younger kids, typically boys, involved with firearms. He says the department's street crimes unit is working diligently to get guns out of the hands of young people.

So far there are no suspects and no arrests for Greens murder. Police are still investigating the crime and they believe two groups of individuals were involved in the shooting.

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