Carbondale’s Stop the Violence Weekend ends with candle light vigil for victims

CARBONDALE, Ill (KBSI) – Carbondale United and many other organizations and small businesses came together this weekend to help bring attention to the increase in gun violence in the area.  

The Stop the Violence weekend was their way to ask the community to come together to stop it.  

Carbondale United Nancy Maxwell says that it’s not only happening in Carbondale but all-over southern Illinois. 

“It’s not just here, it’s you know  (in) Marian, it’s in Cario, it goes all the way down,” said Maxwell. 

This weekend’s events included a rally on Friday, a “fun not guns” outdoor event on Saturday, a prayer vigil on Sunday, and a candlelight vigil for Keeshanna Jackson that was held tonight.  

Jackson was a Southern Illinois University freshman that moved from Chicago to Carbondale. 

She was shot and killed on august 22, 2021. 

Maxwell says they want to let her family know they have not forgotten Keeshanna.  

“We just wanted to let them know that we have not forgotten what happened here and we care about all the students that come to SIL and live in our community,” said Maxwell. 

The community has also seen violence at local businesses as well.  

Indigo Event Space and Lounge owner Unree Westly, says the violence in Carbondale has increased in the time since he was a child growing up in the area. 

He says he just wants it to be safe for everyone. 

“Please allow our community to be safe for our kids for our residents for the students coming in for the hosts around the community that’s around here people want to have the opportunity to come out and have a good time and feel safe,” said Westly. 

Both Maxell and Westley hope the stop the violence weekend encourages positive change. 

“It’s important that they come out and support this so we can continue to work on it and create this better community where everybody is safe,” said Maxell. 

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