Community activists in Gaffney speak out

Kamryn Montara Lamya Bradley (Photo provided)

GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – Community activists are speaking out about recent gang activity in the Gaffney area.

Just this weekend an 8-year old girl was caught in the cross-fire and killed.

Now activists want the community to come together to help kids stay out of trouble.

Two families are mourning after two lives were cut short by bullets, both shootings are said to be connected to gang activity.

Shattered glass along with windows and the front door riddled with bullet holes are the devastating reminders of a life lost too soon.

Kamryn Bradley, 8,  was shot and killed early Sunday morning. The Cherokee County coroner says it’s gang related.

Crystal Shippy offers dance classes for kids, while Chris Dewberry offers basketball camps for kids. Both agree that gang activity is growing in the Gaffney community.

Crystal offers an explanation, ” a lot of these kids come from good families they just make stupid decisions so I think it’s peer pressure there… ”

These community leaders say they understand how outside influence may also play a role. Chris knows how communities can connect when it comes to violence, “I cannot blame everything just on Gaffney, some kids might be coming from other towns.”

Chris supports his grandson by showing up during football practice, and says he knows many of the kids in Gaffney. Like Crystal, he is working to make a difference.

Chris knows what it takes, “we’re we come from we didn’t have gyms, you know something to do, in the summer time kids need something to do.”
Hearing about tragedies like the death of an 18-year old a few weeks ago and most recently Kamryn.

Chris expresses his heartache, “it’s senseless, it don’t make no sense.”

Crystal and Chris say they both realize that being present in children’s lives can and will make a difference.

Chris understands that making a difference happens up close, “once you do something positive for the kids, keep their minds focused on something else, that’s the key.”

Crystal understands that talking is important, but more needs to happen, “it’s very important for people to stop talking and put your boots on the ground and create something for the kids.”

The Gaffney Police Department is asking for information about this latest deadly shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Sgt. B. Blanton at (864) 206-3334, or SC Crime-Stoppers at 1-888-274-6372.