Residents trying to stop gun violence in eastern Horry County

Grand Strand

LORIS, SC (WBTW) – After several recent shootings and deaths in eastern Horry County, some residents are trying to stop gun violence in their communities.

Grand Strand Action Together is holding a community violence forum to stop gun violence in the greater Loris area.

Veronica Thompson’s son Levi Moody of Longs was a standout football player at Loris High School.

“Levi was my son, my pride and joy,” Thompson said.

Moody was nicknamed “Goose” and was Thompson’s only son.

In November 2016, Moody was hit by a stray bullet from a fight near his home.

“One young man grabs a gun, starts shooting and shoots the person he was shooting at and two other people,” Thompson said. “In the aftermath, my son is laying on the ground right over here.”

Moody died that day and was only 19 years old.

His mother is one of several people near Loris who will be at the forum in Loris on Sunday to stop gun violence.

Organizers say the forum comes in the wake of several shootings in places like Loris and Longs. Most recently, Horry County police say 34-year-old Larry Wilson was shot and killed on Radius Road in Longs last month.

Ernest Carson with Grand Strand Action Together says it’s important to involve kids and teens in how to stop violence.

“If we can find out what the children fear, and make that into a positive, right those wrongs, I think that’s a very positive thing for the county,” Carson said.

Gwen Reed with Moms Demand Action says shootings also hurt rural communities like Longs.

“The crimes and things don’t get the attention that Myrtle Beach, Conway and North Myrtle Beach would get,” Reed said.

Thompson says she wants people to solve problems without guns to avoid another death like her son’s.

“All our young men, especially of color, are going to jail over senseless things,” said Thompson. “This, of course, was a senseless thing.”

The forum will be held at the Kingston Lake Business and Education Center on Sunday afternoon at 4.

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