CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A sea of orange filled the parking lot with balloons and t-shirts Friday evening in honor of 3-year-old Asiah Figueroa's favorite color which also happens to symbolize gun violence awareness as well.
The tragic drive-by shooting death of the toddler in northwest Charlotte has left the community in shock and also brought everyone together to honor Figueroa's memory and call for change.
“Stop the murder, stop the violence," said Belton Platt, leader of Charlotte's Alternatives to Violence program. "The root of murder is hatred. It’s time for us to share love.”
Platt says the goal of the program is to reach out to high-risk individuals before it's too late and connect them to the resources they need. The hope is that action and outreach may help prevent another tragedy and another family facing heartache.
“Seeing all these people for my baby, it makes me happy, but my heart is broken," Figueroa's father said at the vigil.
On Friday, Sept. 17 beginning at 7 p.m., community activists also plan to host a peace walk in Figueroa's honor along the Beatties Ford Road corridor.
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