DALLAS - There is still no one charged with the murder of the 13-year-old who was kidnapped from her Lancaster home.
Six people are in jail on charges related to Shavon Randle’s kidnapping as ransom for stolen drugs. And Dallas continues to try to heal and move past the hurt of her horrific murder.
A nonprofit organization hosted a ‘PositiveXchange’ conversation to discuss the recent senseless murder and talked about possible ways to stop violence in the community and how to move forward.
“This is very difficult because we should not be here,” said Urban Specialist Pastor Omar Jahwar during the Friday gathering.
At the meeting, faces were filled with pain and promise of young people brought together to deal with their feelings about the murder of Shavon.
“When I found out this little girl died, it really broke my heart,” said 12-year-old Marshawn Burnett. “She lost her life over nothing, over pettiness.”
Although tender in age, the group was composed of youth who were understanding beyond their years.
“Shavon is my niece,” said Deandre Bradley. “I felt like I failed as an adult that was supposed to protect her. She was never supposed to be in that line of fire.”
The meeting was a real conversation, not just about what happened, but also what are the solutions to the issues that carry people into the drug world and the violence that comes with it.
“Do you believe there's anything we can do to prevent this from happening to any other young person?” Jahwar asked the crowd.
“Don’t go out and do something stupid,” 11-year-old Gabriel Mumbura said. “Don’t follow the wrong people. Just be yourself.”
“People act like they're scared to go to church because they don’t want to be known as, ‘Oh, That’s a churchy girl. That’s a churchy dude. Don’t nobody want to put up with them.’ But little do y'all know it’s so much that you can go deep in that'll keep all out of trouble,” advised 18-year-old Eboni Wilson.
“These young people were saying some things that were powerful in the most simplest form,” the pastor said. “And they were telling us the truth. So I want you to get hope from that.”
Shavon's mother, Shaquna Persley, says the days have been tough, but conversations like this help.
“Hear ‘em talk like they just grown people,” she said. “It makes me feel good to know there’s a lot of people out here in support of my baby.”