Son of murdered elementary school principal speaks out against g -

Son of murdered elementary school principal speaks out against gun violence

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Photo Credit: KMOV Photo Credit: KMOV

( – Jairis Hamilton, 18, recalls the moments when his mother was taken from him during a vicious act of violence.

"The situation that I'm in, most people would have broke a long time ago," Hamilton said. "But I keep a positive attitude."

Hamilton's mother, Jacara Sproaps, was shot and killed in early July. Hamilton was injured in the shooting.

"Honestly, it does me some good because it shows that people care about kids in the community," he said. And he wasn't the only one speaking out against an endless cycle of violence.

Community leaders across St. Louis met at the Gamble Recreation Center to discuss solutions to the gun violence plaguing the city.

Better Family Life passed out fliers trying to get people out to today’s summit called “Under the Arch and Under the Gun.”

The event featured panelists from the mayor’s office, the St. Louis Police Department, and Barnes Hospital.

Each speaker spoke about their experiences with gun violence. One of the goals is to recruit mentors for at-risk youth to keep them out of trouble and to send a message to churches in the community.

“We think that the time is now, we have seen enough,” said James Clark of Better Family Life.  “This thing has skid to the point where now where 13-year-olds are becoming victims and perpetrators of gun violence. That is a clear indication that we must have some immediate neighborhood action.”

More than $1,500 was raised for Jacara Sproaps' family at the event.

The third and final summit will be held next Saturday at the new Northside Conference Center.

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