Community gathers for prayer service after Lafayette shooting

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – In the wake of a recent deadly shooting in Lafayette, neighbors came together in prayer tonight with hopes of ending violence in their area.

Earlier this week officers found 21-year-old Lafayette Resident Damarcus Benard dead in the roadway with a gunshot wound.

This happened in the 200 block of Duval Street in Lafayette. Just a block away from where the shooting occurred is the Harvest Center Church.

Pastor Daniel Kelly said within three miles of the church, there have been eight murders in 2017 alone. Kelly brought the neighborhood together Thursday to pray for an end to violence.

“I think my heart aches every time a young brother loses his life to gun violence or to drugs that are being sold in this area. There’s no safe place in Lafayette,” Kelly said.

“There’s so many shootings that are going on, drive-bys, people are being found dead,” Shavonda Martin said, member of the Harvest Center Church.

The prayer service began with the community joining hands outside the Harvest Center Church, remembering the 21-year-old man who was shot just a few days ago. The church has been in the Simcoe area for about eight months now. Kelly said he’s hoping to make a difference.

“We can walk in the projects and they know our name. They know that we are here not to judge them but to love them,” Kelly said.

“Coming together is such a great thing because God wants all his children together and we all love all our children, God loves all our children,” Gail Kelly said, member of the Harvest Center Church.

Leaders and members from other churches around the city came out Thursday night to pray as well. Pastor Kelly said he hopes to make these outdoor prayer services a monthly event.

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