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Scene of violence is fake, but problem is real

CROWLEY MOCK SHOOTING, MOTHER.jpg
CROWLEY MOCK SHOOTING.jpg
Posted at 9:45 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 23:16:35-05

CROWLEY — A scene of violence on the streets of Crowley Thursday night was fake, but it's meant to highlight a very real problem. An Acadiana pastor says he hopes to inspire others to take action on gun violence by showing them something close to the real thing.

Earlier this week he was in Abbeville. Tonight he took his message to another Acadiana community grappling with gun violence.

"There is a child right now with bullets inside him in Lafayette General. It was not the white man that shot him, it was not the cop that shot him, it was not the KKK that shot him, it was another black man from Crowley," Pastor Lawrence Levy said to a crowd gathered on Hucthinson Ave.

More than a hundred people gathered around crime scene tape, including friends and family of 21-year-old Paul Dugas. They say Paul remains in a local hospital after he was injured in one of two shootings on Tuesday. His loved ones say the message was loud and clear.

"Everybody has been impacted, the person doing the shooting, and the person getting shot. It needs to stop. So people need to make better choices, period," Kimberly Harris, a friend of Paul's family, said.

During the re-enactment, Levy walks around bloodied bodies laying on the street, including a mother holding her son, a man holding a rifle, and a young boy being held down by a cop.

"You don't want to see your young black boy looking like this, but when he started having trouble in school, you didn't do anything about it" Levy said.

The crowd: a mix of all races and ages. His message for all of them: stop the violence, love each other, and put down the guns.

"They're scared to die, they don't think they are. They are scared of prison, they don't think they are, so they have to see it," Levy explained. "That's how were going to change their lives, by putting it in their face."

The pastor says he's been an advocate against gun violence for years, but recently started doing these new, dramatic, true-to-life demonstrations.

"A lot of people break down and tell me what's wrong, a lot of youth that comes to me, it's very helpful," he added.

Those watching nearby were listening and agreeing.

"This is a result of what's going on, they are hating each other," said Harris. "It doesn't have to be that way."

Levy also told the crowd he is continuing to share his message across the country. He says he has plans to do the demonstrations in other states, including California and Mississippi.

WATCH the full demonstration here.