Decatur Shootings

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Decatur leaders of faith said it is time for the community to step up.

After a rash of shootings, pastors believe every religious entity in the city should get involved. Pastors said they want peace and they are praying for change.

To Elder Carol Spates of the Community Church of God, gun violence is not a one-size-fits-all issue. She said it [gun violence and shootings] affect everybody. 

"When is it going to end?" Spates asked aloud. 

The shootings even affect Spates' colleagues at the church. Aldophis Cooper, an associate minister, said his house was recently shot at. Cooper said he discovered a bullet hole in the wall. 

"I thought about my where my grandson was standing when they was in the room," Cooper said. 

Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the damage is a blunt reminder of what has happened in Decatur. Shootings are a growing concern to Cooper and Spates. Cooper said "what's going on right now is going on with everybody that look like each other." 

"And anytime someone gets shot, it hurts," Spates said. "It hurts deep." 

Recently, two overnight shootings left one man dead and another wounded. A few days ago, an eight-year-old girl was shot in the arm. Then police soon arrested a 19-year-old for reckless discharge of a firearm.

Spates said she will reach out to every pastor in Decatur. The Decatur pastor said the churches need to come together. When facing trials and tribulations, pastors do what they do best; they pray. 

"I'm telling them not to fear any evil but just walk away from it and put those guns down," Spates said. 

"Love one another, communicate, let's talk," Cooper smiled. 

They pray for the city, its people and the ones who pulled the trigger. 

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