CHESAPEAKE, Va. — There's a call for action. Pastors, city officials and families came together Friday to address the recent spike in gun violence.
Many people are asking: "Where do we go from here?" That question led many people to fill the pews at The Mount at Chesapeake to pray for change while urging the community - especially young people - to get involved.
"Something is wrong when you wake up and you go to bed that night and you're just glad no one got killed," said The Mount Bishop Kim Brown.
This is why the church held this event, called "757 Refresh: Prayer, Worship and Change."
"I think the church has to stand up and be a voice to help people to understand the value of everybody's life," said Brown.
Portsmouth is one city in particular dealing with the impact of gun violence. Seventeen people have been shot in nine days.
It's something that State Sen. Louise Lucas is concerned about.
"It's going to take all of us working together to solve this problem. It's too big for the police department; it's too big for the sheriff's department. It's going to take state police and everybody involved," said Sen. Lucas.
While Virginia State Police will be providing additional resources to the City of Portsmouth, there are still more issues.
"I think the uptick in violence has a lot to do with the fact that police officers, honestly... some of them don't feel like it's worth their time getting out there. We have shortages in police departments," said Sen. Lucas.
Pastors and families tell News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones that prayer alone will not stop the violence or its root causes.
But one woman who attended the event said it gives her hope.
"My message will be, 'Put the guns down and pick up Jesus Christ,'" said Leia Nicole.
In addition to Sen. Lucas coming out Friday night, Del. Cliff Hayes, Congresswoman Elaine Luria and more showed their support in an effort to use their voices to help pass laws to better our protect our community. Organizers said they're working to hold another similar event soon.