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Violence prevention organizations remind community of services available during pandemic

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MILWAUKEE, WI (CBS 58) – Local violence prevention groups say it’s a two prong mission; to reach out to those needing help, and help those who are hurting others.

They say this quarantine doesn’t help, but they want people to know those resources are still available.

This comes after Monday’s homicide where five people were found dead inside of a home near N 12th street and West Locust Street. The victims ranged between the ages of 14-41. The suspect, who called police saying his family was dead, remains in police custody. No charges have been filed as of yet.

Milwaukee police say the five victims were:

  • Demetrius R. Thomas, a 14-year-old male
  • Tera R. Agee, a 16-year-old female
  • Lakeitha M. Stokes, a 17-year-old female
  • Marcus G. Stokes, a 19-year-old male
  • Teresa R. Thomas, a 41-year-old woman

“It’s horrific,” said Carmen Pitre, president and CEO of Sojourner Peace Center. “My first thought was how horrible for this family and this community.”

Pitre says the incident is an extension of an increase in domestic violence-related homicides we’re seeing in our area especially during this quarantine period.

She says we’re currently at 22 incidents, up from four this time last year.

“COVID has basically kept people in place,” says Pitre. “We want to get the message out that if someone is hurting you, please take it seriously.”

That’s the message Sojourner wants to send through their recent PSA.

The 30 and 60-second clips show empty scenes around Milwaukee.

Reggie Moore with the Office of Violence Prevention wants to remind the community that while we’re social distancing we’re don’t have to be socially disconnected.

“I don’t want to make any presumptions about what that situation was [referring to the homicide from Monday morning], but just understanding that if there are any individuals in our community who are in volatile relationships and are afraid for their safety that they prioritize that for themselves and their children,” says Moore.

Sojourner says they’re in the planning stages of forming a community call where people can be connected for the right resources for their needs.

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