Spike in Kansas City violence leaves leaders and residents working to combat the problem

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A spike in violence in Kansas City has people trying harder than ever to figure out why this is happening in the metro. Police say eight people have been shot in KC in the last two days; three of those have been double shootings.

The city is trying to combat the problem with events like Mayor Sly James' "Mayor's Nights." The program is aimed at giving children the opportunity to do fun things until 11pm, starting Friday, as the city's 9 p.m. curfew kicks in -- sending kids home from entertainment districts in the area, unless they're with their parents.

Terrie Hughes-Harrison is mourning the loss of her 28-year-old nephew Antonio Hughes, who was shot to death earlier this week. She said, "There’s no guilt. There’s no value of life. Because people are lost. I don’t think you can measure how big his heart was."

She said the father of two is not the first relative she's lost to violence. Hughes-Harrison said, "This family has no desire whatsoever to continue the legacy of death. Human killing humans is self-destruction regardless of the color."

Just in the last two days: a double-shooting at 104th and Holmes; a few hours before that, more gun violence at 24th and Lawndale. Wednesday night: another double shooting at Smart and Benton; earlier that afternoon: a deadly shooting at 57th and Bales. Eight people have been shot in less than two days.

Hughes and her family say they forgive her nephew's killer, but she has a call to action for those who know the details about his death. She said, "Tell. Tell! Let’s kill this no snitching mess. Let’s kill it now because all we’re getting is more death."

Antonio's stepmother agreed. Darlene Brenson-Hughes said, "If you don’t stop the violence in Kansas City, inner Kansas City, in your community, you help it go further."

Those woman say a lot of what kids know about their own personal value starts at a young age, and that educating them about self-worth is one way to end this cycle of violence. Those are some of the concepts organizers hope will be achieved at Mayor's Nights throughout this summer's weekends.

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