Two slain teens remembered at Avondale vigil

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Two 14-year-olds shot to death just days apart were remembered at the scene of one of the tragedies on Tuesday night.

Friends, family and community members who knew Tyann Adkins and Jashawn Martin celebrated their lives where Adkins was killed outside an apartment complex on Reading Road in Avondale.

"I'm glad that my son was loved, and her daughter was loved. My son and her daughter they all had the same friends," said Felischra Riggs, Martin's mother.

Stopping the violence was the message of the masses that gathered at that vigil. At one point, so many people were there, officers from the Cincinnati Police Department came in to direct traffic through that part of Reading Road.

It was all to remember, and to make a call to protect the city's youth.

"Please just stop. Too many of our babies are dying," said one woman at the vigil.

It's a simple, yet powerful message as the community comes together to remember the teens taken by gun violence in unrelated incidents just a few miles apart.

"There has to come a time when we as a community, when we as a people, when we as a village, rise up and say, 'No more,'" said Peterson Mingo of the Christ Temple Full Gospel Baptist Church.

Martin's mother tells FOX19 that the victims knew each other. She says Adkins was at her son's funeral, and never imagined she'd be the next one killed.

"It needs to cease right away. Neither one of them got to see 15, or 16, or even grow up," said Riggs.

Violence involving the city's youth in on the radar of the city's top officials.

"It's the highest priority we have. This is our community. This is our city. We can't be a world-class city and not care about our young people," said Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffery Blackwell.

"We're going to do everything in our power, and we're going to keep trying different things until we figure out how to stop 14-year olds from being murdered," said Mayor John Cranley (D).

There are already programs in place to keep the city's kids away from violence such as H3 Cincy, the Cincinnati Police Explorer program, and the GREAT program, which stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training.  That curriculum will be taught next year to the city's fifth and sixth graders, according to Chief Blackwell.

But, come summer when the kids are all out of school, police will roll out a plan to be right there with them.  They plan on connecting with the youth on a street level and in the city's parks.

"As it gets warmer, and as street activity picks up, we're going to be visible and vigilant to make sure we're doing our part to make Cincinnati safe," said Blackwell.

Another 14-year old is charged with shooting Tyann Adkins.  Two men, Donyell Walker, 18, and Miniko Hicks, 20, are accused of shooting Jashawn Martin. They're charged with four counts of felonious assault, with murder charges being dropped.

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