Shooting surge has Kansas City residents searching for new solutions

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A surge in shootings has residents searching for new solutions to stop gun violence.

At Southeast High School, participants in a rolling prayer caravan are seeking divine intervention for a violence free KC.

Gathering to pray is not new in Kansas City. People horrified by bloodshed have been doing it for decades. But prayer alone didn't prevent four men from being killed in Kansas City on Sunday.

That's why Councilman Brandon Ellington has launched his No More Excuses Coalition, which seeks to change what is socially and culturally accepted in urban core neighborhoods.

The group's first event is Saturday at the Brush Creek Community Center, the same place where someone shot and killed two men earlier this week. The focus of the gathering will be on taking ownership of your life and your community.

Ellington, a former state lawmaker, understands that violence must be solved at the grassroots level. He said there's no help coming from the state of Missouri.

"Jeff City is 175 miles away," Ellington said. "That’s one of the issues I have had with previous leadership in the city. We typically look to blame an entity that’s not here for not addressing the social, culturalistic and economic life issues that we see prevalent on the east side."

Republican Gov. Mike Parson has rejected a request from the Missouri Black Caucus for legislators to consider allowing cities to enact their own gun control measures during a special session next month.

Parson said the special session is not the correct avenue, saying it will take all levels of government working with the community.

Of the 97 homicides so far this year in Kansas City, 68 victims have been black. The city is on pace to exceed last year's homicide total of 143.

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