Charity event set for this weekend to combat gun violence

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ST. LOUIS – A charity event this weekend is taking aim to try and combat gun violence through basketball.

It`s called Jumpshots Over Gunshots.

The event inspired in part by a St. Louis police detective who was personally impacted by gun violence in our community.

‘It`s a crisis,” said St. Louis Police Detective Michael Shaw talking about gun violence in the St. Louis area.

Shaw, whose focus is gang intervention added, “It`s very serious.”

Gun violence has taken the life of someone close to Michael, 18-year-old Gerald Jackson, Jr. was shot and killed in October in North County.

Michael coached Gerald on a basketball team.

His death hit Michael hard and prompted him to act against gun violence.

So, Michael teamed up with the CareSTL Foundation for Jumpshots Over Gunshots.

It`s a charity basketball event happening this Saturday at the Vashon High School gym in North City.

Toni Cousins runs the foundation.

She tells us there will be two games, one pitting police and firefighters against each other; the other with local media competing against elected officials.

“Our kids don`t have anything to do. They don`t have a safe space. And that`s what we`re really trying to combat and make sure we`re providing-space for them to be happy and kids…that ordinarily, they haven`t been able to do,” said Cousins.

There will also be health and safety services including how to use gun locks.

There will a $5 admission charge.

The money will be used to assist families impacted by gun violence and also to help organize a three on three basketball league this summer for young kids.

Cousins thinks the event can make a big difference.

“Awareness, education, that`s the biggest key. You have to make them aware. You have to educate people,” said Cousins.

Shaw added, “Hopefully in the summertime we want to give these young kids something to do instead of just running in the streets without, you know, without any type of guidance.”

Fezem Louis supports the effort.

Her 23-year-old son DaVon Graham was shot and killed in July in North City.

She says every day is a struggle and events like this one help support the families impacted by gun violence.

“We`re not left alone like they`re showing that they care throughout the region besides St. Louis city,” said Fezem.

“Please put down the guns, enough is enough,” said Shaw.

The event runs from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday at Vashon.

The games start at 3 p.m.

Kids eight and under get in free.

Organizers hope to raise $10,000.

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