Local mom, evangelist plan fight against gang violence
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Another teenager has died after being gunned down in the middle of a Chattanooga street.
Eighteen-year-old Eric Fluellen's body was discovered around 3:00 Tuesday morning in the 3200 block of 13th Avenue.
Police say he was lying in the streets with gunshot wounds when they arrived on the scene. He was pronounced dead moments later.
Detectives believe the victim was targeted, but police have not named any suspects.
Fluellen's death comes just weeks after another teenager was shot and killed near Howard High School.
The recent rash of senseless shootings has the community on edge.
A local mom and evangelist says the fight against gang violence can be won, but it will take the city coming together.
"Each time we watch one die, we watch them die off and we watch maybe a future doctor, a future lawyer go to the grave," says Carol Beckett.
Evangelist Carol Beckett says it's time Chattanoogans realize violence is not an Eastlake problem, but one that's city-wide.
"You walk outside your door and you are just affected by it as I am whether we are in Eastlake or we are in a different part of town," says Beckett.
Beckett and a group called Freedom Ministry plan to meet at risk youth where they are, by hosting a worship service where young people can express themselves through song and dance.
The idea is to give kids a place to be themselves without shame.
"We're going to have that open ear, that kind, loving heart to allow those children to pour into us, trust us enough to say before I pick up this gun, can I just talk to you," says Beckett.
Beckett says adults don't have to be a part of Freedom Ministry to live out its mission.
She says if all Chattanoogans would invest in the lives of young people, gangs would not stand a chance.
"To the child next door, down the street, and not just the ones in our home," says Beckett.
"Maybe your seed is the seed that is planted, that will lead that child in the right direction," says Beckett.
No matter the race, gender, or neighborhood, Beckett says what will save Chattanooga's youth is something we all have to give.
"Love, Love," Beckett says. "Love is something that every child no matter the age, from zero to 99, everybody wants to be loved. Everybody wants to know they are cared about. Everybody wants to know that you are listening."
The event called Freedom Friday will be held at Greater Missionary Baptist Church on March 29th at 7 pm.
Freedom Ministry plans to host the event the fourth Friday of every month.