Va. community stands together after violent crimes

Community fights violence with prayer

MANASSAS, VA (WUSA9) - On Thursday, a local community stood together to take back their community at a candlelight prayer walk in Manassas, Va. 

The prayer walk came after a spat of recent crimes, including shootings and a murder on Thanksgiving night when 44-year-old Thomas Velasquez was shot twice in the stomach.

RELATED: Police investigate fatal shooting of Manassas man

Meg Carroll gets emotional about this neighborhood because she has invested her life in it.

"I was a police officer here for 21 years, so I know what this community was like and it was common place to have shooting incidents," said Carroll. "It was commonplace to have an open air drug market." 

In the last five years, the Georgetown South neighborhood has seen a transformation, a drop in crime and fear.

Until Velasquez's murder.

Valesquez lived in the neighborhood for 17 years and raised his family there. He even convinced his son and daughter-in-law to buy a home.

The next victim could be anyone, so it will take everyone to stand up together.

"Together I think we can make a big difference, but we have to love each other no matter what color you are, no matter what race you are," one person said. "In God we all family." 


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