After a deadly weekend in Birmingham, Mayor Randall Woodfin is calling on the community to talk to friends and family of those affiliated with five gangs that could be responsible for shootings in the city.
"In less than 24 hours between 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday, three people were killed," Woodfin posted on Facebook Sunday morning. "Last night, five more people were shot, with two losing their lives.
"That's five lives lost in barely two days."
Woodfin said police believe at least one of the shootings over the weekend was gang-related. He asked anyone with connections to members of H2K, 6500 boys, 420, TMSG and CPMG to talk to them about stopping the violence.
"Ask them to call a truce, ask them to lay low, ask them to chill and put the guns down," Woodfin said.
In the past, it was rare for law enforcement to acknowledge the existence of gangs in the city, although speculation that they are behind shootings has been widespread. However, Police Chief Scott Thurmond and Woodfin have made no qualms about the gang problem in Birmingham.
"Too many lives have been lost, and none of this is worth the cycle of retaliation and death that's crippling our community and literally snatching your sons' lives," Woodfin posted Sunday.
"To the parents, loved ones, children and friends – please connect with your teenager and/or young men affiliated with these gangs and help us find peace."
As of Sunday, there had been 102 homicides in the city of Birmingham this year. Six of those have been ruled justifiable.
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