Following Sunday shootout Councilwoman Jackson calls for peace

April Jackson

It's been over 24 hours since two young black men were gunned down outside of a Denny's in Salisbury and still no new information. But they aren't alone in the search for answers, and a fix the community is also taking action.

Unerved by the violence, disgusted and saddened by a fatal Sunday morning shootout City Councilwoman April Jackson is prepared to take a stand, calling first for a Monday night rally at Billie Gene Jackson Park.

"This is a rally to bring peace a rally to bring wholeness to the community, a rally to bring understanding," Jackson said.

It's hard to understand why two men would exchange gun fire outside of a Denny's on a Sunday morning, a shootout that collected a state trooper and it's even harder to explain the loss of life. Gone are Jaquan Griffin and Michael Ward and it's believed that Griffin was gunned down by ward  who was allegedly killed by a state trooper.

"He engaged that person, that person then turned toward him and began firing at the trooper. The trooper was obviously in fear for his life and fired back at this individual," Jackson said.

The officer is okay, now on administrative leave, but the community isn't. Monday as police dig for more – and attempt to solve this crime, Jackson is searching for her own answers attempting to engage her community. 

"We need to find out and go deeper into our young people and find out what is they want and need," Jackson said.

Aside from her role as city councilwoman Jackson has a personal stake in this. Her family, a victim of the violence. Her grandson Keonte Gaskins was murdered last spring and another one of her grandsons Shaquille Gaskins pleading guilty to murder last month sentenced to 25 years behind bars. 

"I have cried, I have cried and I'm tired of crying," Jackson said.



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