“We can’t have retaliation after retaliation. We’re just going to keep losing kids. We don’t need that in this community,” the Rev. Raleigh Thornton Jr. told dozens of mostly young people at a vigil outside a Dayton social club to remember a father of two who was shot to death there early Friday.
“We’ve had enough death. It has to stop somewhere,” said the minister, an assistant pastor at New Testament Missionary Baptist Church on North Gettysburg Avenue.
He led the throng of mostly young people is prayer as well during the remembrance for 24-year-old Javon Jones.
Dayton homicide detectives have asked the public to help police put together suspect information and to pass along information about what happened. As of Friday night, no arrest had been made.
Thornton did his part to dissuade those in the crowd outside the Blue Room, on North James H. McGee Boulevard, from taking the law into their own hands to avenge Jones’s slaying.
“Our youth are hurting,” he said.
To the family, he offered the following: “The only thing you can do in moments like this is to survive. No mother should have to bury her child, especially at the hands of another human being.
“In moments like this I ask God for strength, for the family.”
Thornton said he’s also praying that the person responsible for Jones’s death surrenders. To those who would cause these types of events, he said, “we’re not going to have it.
“We have to take back what is being taken from us, which is our sense of safety,” the minister said.
But the re-taking of the streets must be done righteously and within the bounds of the law, he said, noting that “retaliation is ripping out community apart.”