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Jan 31, 2014 7:54 PM by Kari Beal

Record murders in Opelousas, community fights back

A Lafayette man sits in jail tonight charged in an Opelousas murder, which police say was drug related. Nathaniel McCoy, 32, is now charged with second degree murder. Opelousas Police say Mccoy killed 41-year-old Robbie White Tuesday night on Caddo Street.

Since January 1, 2014 there have been three murders in Opelousas. This is the most the city has seen in one month. To put this into perspective, throughout the entire year of 2012 the city saw four homicides. The Opelousas Police Department said they are stepping up investigative operations and adding more officers on patrol. But they're not the only ones taking action. Residents are organizing a "Stop the Violence" peace march tomorrow.

"I hope it saves a lot of young people's lives. I hope it opens up the eyes of parents. I hope it opens up the eyes of the community and what we can do as a community and fix the problem," the main organizer of the event and President of the I-49 Movement, Marvin Richard said.

As a father of four children, Richard worries about the violence in Opelousas.

"Even though it's not your kids, it still affects them because your kids are in this community," Marvin said.

All of the murders this month involve firearms. Opelousas City Marshal Easton Shelvin will speak at the march tomorrow. He said any effort to stop violence counts.

"We may not be able to stop it, but at least we can throw a curve ball at it," Shelvin said.

Those who wish to participant in the march should meet at 12:30 in South City Park, Opelousas. They will began marching at 1 p.m. and end at North City Park.

Want to see more stories from Kari? Follow her on Twitter @Kari_EBeal and Facebook.

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