Church leaders urge peace, after 7th teen killed in St. Pete

- A drive-by shooting Saturday night claimed the life of one 17-year-old in St Petersburg and left another 17-year-old injured. Community leaders are urging to put a stop to the gun violence.

According to St. Petersburg police, 17-year-old Jaquez Eugene Jackson died around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, when suspects opened fire on a car he was riding in with other teens.

The car pulled up next to Jackson's vehicle, firing shots before taking off. Jackson and another teen that police have not identified were hit.

Police said both teens were dropped off in an alley near a home on 3rd Avenue South.

Someone called 911 alerting them of the teens' injuries. The vehicle they were in was later found at a different location.

Both victims were rushed to a local hospital, where Jackson died. The other teen is listed in stable condition.

"We cannot stand by idly and not do something about it," said Reverend Kenneth Irby to his congregation at Bethel AME Church on Sunday.

In addition to praying for the victims, Irby passed out police flyers with information about the shooting and urged the community to take action.

"If you know something about these perpetrators, folks who have guns, folks who have been involved in senseless murder and robbery, you need to bring that to the attention of your pastor or local law enforcement. Know that you have a responsibility to speak truth," said Irby.

Jackson is the 7th teenager killed in St Petersburg due to gun violence this year.

One week ago, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and about 200 community leaders and residents, held a march through city streets urging peace and a stop to the violence.

"It isn't just South St. Pete, or North St. Pete that are going to say stop. It's all of St. Pete that is going to come together," said Mayor Kriseman during the rally. "It can't just be one area of the city, it can't just be one group, it can't just be city hall and it can't just be our police department. It has to be the entire community coming together and speaking out with one voice."

Police are working to determine where Saturday's shooting occurred and a possible motive.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact St. Petersburg police at 727-893-7780.

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