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After a violent 2013 in Harrisburg, community and leaders aim for a safer year in 2014

Updated: Tuesday, December 31 2013, 03:10 PM CST
Reported by James Tully:

HARRISBURG -- People gathered Monday night to remember a man shot and killed Saturday morning.

34-year-old Ronald Henderson became another one of the city's growing list of homicide victims.
 
The organizers hope that faith can motivate change.

Heeding God's Call organized the prayer vigil, just like they have for every other homicide involving a gun in the City of Harrisburg this year.

The group says Henderson's killing was the 16th homicide where a gun was used.  No one has been charged in connection with Henderson's death.

Harrisburg's problem with gun violence is a long-term problem, one that requires a long-term solution.

A solution that many hope the city's new mayor, among other important players in the city, can find.

He was a child to me, I don't have any children, and he was the closest thing I had to a child, commented Evie Zigerelli Henderson, Ronalds step-grandmother. 

Evie tells us she was Ronald Henderson's grandmother, and like everyone else who attended the vigil, is calling for some kind of change.

We have to get to work here, Evie urged. We got to get to work everybody has to.

This is not a problem that's going to be solved in one night with one vigil, believes Ron Tilley.

Ron is with Heeding God's Call, the organizers of yet another prayer vigil for a victim of gun violence in Harrisburg.

And he's got a point, the 16 shooting deaths Heeding Gods Call reports for this year are more than the previous two years, and the most since 2009 according to city-data.com.

We need to muster up the courage as a community on the state and federal level to address the issues of illegal guns on our street, commented Tilley.

The pressure to decrease that number falls on Harrisburg Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse, who just days before his inauguration says the violence is at a crisis level.

Whether its 16 or 20 it's too high, and Harrisburg needs to be safer, Papenfuse stated.  If you can't ensure the safety of your city you can't address the other issues.After a violent 2013 in Harrisburg, community and leaders aim for a safer year in 2014


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