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Chadbourn prayer vigil hopes to stop growing gang violence

READ MORE: Chadbourn to hold prayer vigil to decrease gang violence
COLUMBUS COUNTY -- Chadbourn residents gathered in prayer tonight hoping to find the solution to a growing gang problem. Two deadly shootings in the last two weeks have local leaders asking the community to help them stop the violence. Law enforcement officials say they can't prevent or solve crimes without the community's help. Chadbourn Police Chief Steven Shaw says recent crimes, and the lack of witnesses coming forward to talk about them, hold investigations at a standstill. "We have a crime scene, we have evidence, but we don't have anything to tie in to it," Shaw said. That's why a prayer vigil at Town Hall was organized. Town leaders say between seventy-five to one hundred people attended. Town leaders hope to build a relationship between town officials, local law enforcement and spiritual leaders. "This vigil is trying to get the community focused on one thing: the betterment of the community in which we live and if we can do that then there's no telling which direction we can go," Local Pastor Lionel Cartwright said. People who live in Chadbourn, and attended the vigil say they see the violence. In such a small town, its hard for it not to hit home. "When I read the stories in the paper the names have faces for me. Just people I know, children of friends of mine that I know. It's very personal to me, it brings it home to me and it breaks my heart," Chadbourn Resident Jackie Whitehead said. Both law enforcement and residents seem to echo the same sentiment. The gang problem has potential to get out of control if it isn't stopped now. That's why they plan on having another community gathering, like the prayer, vigil next month.

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