DALLAS - There was a good turnout Saturday at an event for a Dallas community that is trying to heal.
The people of Pleasant Grove were invited to a community event that was set up in the same spot where young Malik Tyler was murdered last month.
The event's organizer wanted to get the community face-to-face to help bond, make amends, and hopefully grow.
Malik's murder is one of more than 100 homicides that have happened so far this year in Dallas.
The death of the eight grader increased concern for children in that Pleasant Grove neighborhood. On Saturday, they wanted to do something about it.
The Daily Stop in Pleasant Grove became a fun place for families during Saturday's event. It featured school supplies, bounce houses, cards, and face paintings.
That’s a complete contrast to the deadly encounter that happened to a 13-year-old last month.
On June 4th, 13-year-old Malik Tyler was at the store, when he was hit by a stray bullet during what Dallas police are calling a shootout between drug dealers.
“Seeing that, I thought, that could have easily been me, because I used to walk to and from this store every single day,” event organizer Willie Franklin Jr. said.
Franklin always swore he'd come back to the neighborhood where he grew up to do something to make a difference.
Malik's killing gave him a sense of urgency.
“Our goal today is to make sure that no one has to print a t-shirt like this ever again,” Franklin said while holding a shirt that featured a picture of Malik.
“I'm raising four young men in this community, so my heart goes out. It definitely does. I'm grateful for this,” community member Dawnisha Allen said.
“Change is needed now. It's now or never. Stop waiting for someone else to do it,” Franklin added.
He and his friends in the save our community t-shirts put the event together.
“It feels really nice to have this here in the community because, like I told you, we don't have anything like this in the community,” community member Fabian Scott said.
Scott also grew up in Pleasant Grove, and now his nieces are too.
“It's good for the kids to see happiness and not seeing all the killing and stuff like that,” he said.
“We want kids to feel like, ‘Hey, I can walk to the corner store. I can walk up and down the street without potentially losing my life,’” Franklin said.