'Heal the Hood' march rallies Seattle's Central District



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Posted on May 1, 2014 at 10:32 PM

SEATTLE -- The Central District neighborhood in Seattle continues work to reduce violence after a number of recent shootings.

On Thursday, people wiwalked for about a mile. Neighbors participating in the "Heal the Hood" march chanted "save our youth!"

12-year-old Jayla Harris walked beside her mother.

"She’s really worried about me and what will happen to me,” Harris said.

Harris admits, her mother is overprotective about where she plays with friends. The streets in and around her neighborhood have suffered 5 murders in just two weeks.

Though police won't confirm a cause for the violence, demonstrators believe it's rooted in the same mistakes they once made.

 “Those that lived it before have to come and tell those living it now that we were wrong – that selling dope, that gang-banging and shooting, that wasn’t the way," one man said.

“I love you and I apologize to you!” another man shouted

It started at Earl's Barber Shop at 23rd and Union at 5 p.m and ended with prayer at a nearby park.

For Harris, the prayer is personal.

“Because then my mom would trust the world and she would let me go hang out with my friends," she said.

A similar event will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, also beginning at 23rd and Union.

A community prayer vigil took place Wednesday evening at the Walker Chapel.  Pastors prayed for the strength to take back their neighborhood.

Three of the five recent shootings were fatal.

Seattle Police won't say if the shootings are gang related, but sources told KING 5 that gang rivalries are a likely cause. Police announced Wednesday that they are stepping up patrols in the area.