For Tony Thy, Tuesday night’s mass shooting during a Halloween party was too close to home.
The shooting which killed three and injured another nine happened at his aunt’s house. His nieces and nephews were inside the house when it happened. The family, which has lived at the house for about a decade, has since moved.
Fortunately, none of his relatives were injured, but the senseless killings left Thy wanting to do something.
He called his longtime friend and fellow community leader Tito Rodriguez, known as Hood Santa for his work with the Local Hearts Foundation in the city, and came up with an idea.
“We need to march,” Thy told Rodriguez. “He said ‘Let’s do it.’ ”
Rodriguez said it’s time to throw away the type of mentality he grew up with that sees violence as a normal thing.
“I’m 42 years old now, it’s really about the babies,” Rodriguez said. “It’s gotta be us leading the way and being the example, and showing them that there’s something better out there than violence, than hurting people, than bullying somebody.”
Dozens of community members joined Thy and Rodriguez for a march Sunday afternoon from Junipero to Temple avenues along 7th Street.
Ream Chuon, 36, said he joined the march because “no matter where you live at you should be able to raise your kids in peace.”
Born and raised in Long Beach, Chuon said he remembers the violence of the 90s and doesn’t want to see it happen again.
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