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North Omaha neighborhood calls for peace on heels of double homicide

Sacred Heart Church will be holding a second prayer service at 7 p.m. Friday.
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 10:28 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - On the heels of a double homicide, a north Omaha neighborhood is calling for peace.

“A change of heart. A change in the violence that we’re seeing perpetrated to friends, neighbors, loved ones,” said Father David Korth, at prayer service Thursday night at Sacred Heart Church, located at 22nd and Binney Streets.

The violence he addressed is far too familiar to Shamika McCoy. “Every time I experience it it’s like you live that moment, but you also experience moments from the past, so it’s like you never get to heal,” said McCoy outside the church. She was 16-years-old when she lost her first family member to a gun; last summer, her cousin Larry Johnson-Tiller.

“You drive by and you say good morning cousin and it’s hard to continue with your day,” she said, referring to the memorials still standing just down the way from the church. She’s lost several loved ones to gun violence. “So when you hear about it’s like, ‘oh, my God is this going to be someone dear to me,’” said McCoy, noting scenes like the one Thursday evening at Sacred Heart Church gives her hope.

“Just like when Larry was murdered, the school reached out,’ she said, referring to the Sacred Heart Elementary next to the church. “Our school is a close-knit community, so it’s more like a family.

“There are people that care. There are people that want to see a difference, and it’s just a matter of us all coming together,” said McCoy. “Everybody wanting to see a difference and putting forth the effort to make it happen.”

While still, never forgetting what’s already been lost. “You can never replace what somebody, what I, what they’ve lost, what can you say, what can you do?”

Gun violence is up in North Omaha in 2021 compared to the year prior. Fourteen people have been wounded in 11 shooting incidents in the area through March, including four homicides.

Sacred Heart Church will be holding a second prayer service at 7 p.m. Friday, and the church says all are welcome. The service will also be livestreamed on the church’s Facebook page, where more than 1,200 people watched Thursday evening’s service.

Watch Thursday’s service

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