Kokomo neighborhood creates peace walk group

Several in Kokomo have seen enough violence and crime in their neighborhood and are working to put a stop to it. (WISH photo)

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – It’s been about two weeks since 17-year-old LeMarcus McGraw was shot and killed in Kokomo. Now a group of neighbors is working to promote peace in the area.

People who live near Jefferson Street and Phillips Street said they’ve seen too much crime and violence so they’re coming together to walk the streets and promote change.

Chris Wendt lives across from the alley where McGraw was shot and killed. After the shooting he said he knew he had to do something.

“Up until that point I had been somebody who had just kind of lived in this community, someone that had just stayed the night here, worked from his computer and not a part of this community,” said Wendt.

Every night after the shooting Wendt got together with other neighbors to walk the streets in that area.

“This was a reaction to violence. This movement started out as a crime watch,” said Wendt.

He said they keep their eyes open to possible crime and drug deals. They also keep track of suspicious activity and report it to police.

Neighbors admit changing the area won’t be easy, but many said they’ve already noticed a difference.

Leaders said one of the most important parts of this effort is getting to know each other.

“The community was so indifferent. Most of the times when my kids were in the community I would keep them close to me. Now when I walk down the street it’s just a different feeling,” said Daveed Ben Moshe with Congregation Yeshivat Tzion.

The group also hopes to create programs for kids and teens in the area to keep them away from drugs and violence.