LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – With the two murders this past week in Lafayette, neighbors came together Friday night for a prayer rally focusing on loving one another and changing their lives.
The first murder happened Tuesday on Duval Street with the death of a 21-year-old man. The second murder happened just Thursday in the 200 block of Porter Lane where a 26-year-old man died.
Friday night at the peace rally, an empty casket was the focal point and served as a sobering reminder for neighbors, as evangelists Lawrence Levy and Brian Evans preached for an end to violence in Lafayette.
“Who’s next? We don’t know who’s next. We live in a community where it’s almost a war zone,” Levy said.
“It’s too close to home. Our kids are killing themselves. It’s time to stop,” Elizabeth Allen said, a Lafayette resident.
Many neighbors came out Friday night including Ronald Onezine, the cousin of Thursday’s murder victim on Porter Lane.
“I love my neighborhood and ain’t nobody can change them but themselves,” Onezine said.
Both Levy and Evans said they used to frequent Simcoe St. and know of the violence there.
“I was once out there selling drugs, using drugs and God has took in and changed my life and turned it completely around,” Evans said.
Evans said he had to hit rock bottom before he realized he needed to change.
“I found God in the jail cell, I hear a lot of people talking about oh he was in prison, but prison was the best thing that ever happened to me. I tried to love on the people that’s in prison because God is love. God wants us to show people love,” Evans said.
Levy and Evans said in order for peace, people have to love one another no matter what.
“I believe it if we start giving some of our young people a chance in the communities that they come from we may be able to start solving a little bit of the crime if not all of it,” Levy said.