MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Mount Vernon -- stunned by the tragic Easter Sunday shooting that took the life of a 20-year-old city man -- will hold a public forum on gun violence next week, Mayor Richard Thomas said Thursday.
Jovelle Stewart was sitting in a friend’s car on North High Street when he was killed in brazen drive-by shooting, according to multiple media reports.
Thomas, in a statement, said the community was both saddened and outraged by Stewart’s “senseless” death.
He invited the public to attend the forum set for 6 p.m. Monday at Grace Baptist Church, 52 S. Sixth Ave.
The community, Thomas said, cannot simply “police” itself out of these kinds of situations or be satisfied with holding candlelight vigils and comforting the victim’s loved ones.
It has to, he said, “become enraged and engaged and seek to put an end to violence and the culture of hopelessness in our communities.”
The mayor called for the development of “comprehensive, strategic approaches” that include multifaceted prevention and intervention programs.
Thomas urged the community to “come together to create and deliver options” for local youth and young adults.
“We must restore a sense of hope in their future," he said.
The forum will be a place to discuss these strategies, the mayor added.