Community mourns Connecticut town’s first homicide victim of the year

Police, community and religious leaders are urging people to step up and speak up if they have any information about the homicide.

HARTFORD, Connecticut – Hartford police are still investigating the first homicide of the year which occurred Tuesday afternoon in broad daylight.

“It’s awful here,” Drenda Stanley said. “It’s awful.”

After learning that 22-year-old Kendall Fair had been shot and killed, Stanley said she felt a sea of ​​emotions.

“I’m really coming back to myself after losing my son 15 years ago,” Stanley said. “It’s not easy, it’s not easy.”

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Stanley put up a sign at a vigil dedicated to Kendall to help neighbors and family grieve.

“I know your pain,” Stanley said, holding back tears. “I know you are hurt because losing a child is like losing yourself.”

All the more reason why she and other community members are advocating for change.

Less than a block from where the shooting took place is the New Life Worship Center. Pastor William Cordero explained that their church already has an initiative underway to unite and collaborate with city officials and neighbors to help make a difference.

“We need to go deeper and know that there is a need in this neighborhood, so we need to find out the root cause of why the shootings and gun violence are happening,” Cordero explained.

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Cordero said enough was enough.

“For the individuals who have been the cause of gun violence here, they are the ones who are pulling the trigger,” Cordero said. “I’m telling you to lay down your guns, lay down your guns because lives are being lost.”

Religious leader and community advocate Reverend Henry Brown agreed.

“This gun violence thing is something that’s been going on for years,” Reverend Brown said. “It seems to me that we can’t find the end. So however we can get to the table. I think we all need to sit down and discuss how we’re going to end it.”

RELATED: Police identify Hartford’s first 2022 homicide victim as they investigate triple shooting

Although Reverend Brown believes change would take teamwork, accountability is key.

“I’m going to put direct accountability where it belongs,” Reverend Brown said. “It has to be on the people in the community. If you stop it and we come together to work together, we can stop it, but it’s on us. I can’t blame anyone else.”

Police, community and religious leaders are urging people to step up and speak up if they have any information.

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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