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Minister Offers Fort Worth Church for Warring Gangs to Declare Truce

A Fort Worth minister is offering his church as a neutral meeting ground for warring gangs to declare a truce after a recent uptick in violence.

“Absolutely, I’m not afraid of my own babies,” said Rev. Kyev Tatum, pastor at New Mount Rose Baptist Church. “We’re asking them to stand down. Come in. Let’s talk this out. Don’t shoot it out.”

The plea comes two days after two 16-year-old boys were shot at Butler Place public housing complex near downtown. One of them died. The other was critically injured.

Just last week, a man was shot to death on the parking lot of a tire shop on East Berry Street.

A group of ministers planned an anti-crime rally Monday evening at 6 p.m. on Riverside Avenue just north of Berry Street.

“It’s scary. You know, you can’t go out of your house,” said Yarnell Gipson, a resident of Butler Place who is moving out after three years. “You’re ducking, it’s scary. You don’t live like that.”

Gipson said crime is only getting worse — with more guns in younger and younger hands.

“I watched a 12-year-old walk through here with a gun,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, what’s he going to do with that?’ 12!”

At a neighborhood rally Sunday evening, Fort Worth Police Assistant Chief Charlie Ramirez said there has been a recent increase in gang violence and that the department has plans to address it, including stepped-up patrols in neighborhoods popular with gangs.

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