LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Parents are pleading for residents to pay more attention to the rising trend of gun violence in Kentucky's largest city. Raven Sanders' daughter is just one of the victims who fortunately survived an early Sunday morning shooting on the interstate but is now recovering at University of Louisville Hospital's ICU.
"My daughter was shot on the highway! On the highway! Four months pregnant. She lost the baby," Sanders regretfully explained. The shots were fired in the area of I-64 and I-264. "You can't even ride on the highway in peace!"
Sanders says he "almost fell to the floor" when he got the call and learned about what happened to his 22-year-old.
While he wishes not to name his daughter, her story is his reason for fighting to end gun violence and urging other parents to turn their children away from violence at a young age.
After all, the number of shootings in Louisville has nearly reached a record for the year. The FBI announced Tuesday there have been 310 shootings so far in 2020. There have been 79 homicides.
"Black Lives Matter needs to be more than a hashtag. The men and women, law men on my left and right have taken an oath to demonstrate that," the US Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky Russell Coleman said in a news conference. FBI Agents are targeting gangs, but did not name any gangs as not to "give them street credit."
Coleman said 11 people have been arrested on drug and firearms charges, while three more are still wanted.
Sanders is concerned about who agents may be targeting.
"If you're a police officer, talk to the youth. Don't just target 'em 'cause their pants [are] sagging or they're playing their rap music too loud. Talk to 'em. Ask 'em how they're doing. Ask 'em if they ate something today," he suggested.
While others continue to protest racism, Sanders wants more to protest gun violence: "take that same energy and let's march in the streets and let's stop the gun violence."
Louisville Metro Police Interim Chief Robert Schroeder released a statement Tuesday regarding the FBI's intent to target gang activity and violent crime, saying: "Today’s announcement highlights how important LMPD’s work with our federal partners is, taking people who threaten the safety of this community off the streets. As we experience a spike in shootings and homicides in our city, we are utilizing every partnership we have — with federal agencies, local prosecutors, and community members – to hold those committing violence accountable. We have much work to do to create the safe community we all deserve, but today’s announcement shows the progress possible when we work together."