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Rock Island shooting prompts family to start coalition against gun violence

Monday's shooting in the west end of Rock Island hits too close to home for Darwin Gray.

"I know that feeling and what that family must be going through, because my family is still going through it," said Gray.

Just three months ago, in the same neighborhood, Gray lost his own brother, Demar Bester, to gun violence. Bester, a 24-year-old father, was shot to death in the 1200 block of 11th Street.

"Being that it hasn't even been 90 days since I lost my little brother, that feeling is devastating. It just kind of brings you back to somewhere that you're still trying to understand," said Gray.

Now, Gray and his family are calling for change. He and his mother have created the group Quad Cities Against Gun Violence, and their 'Lights, Camera, Action' is pushing for better lighting and neighborhood security cameras.

However, they say they need more community members to speak out.

"We have to get rid of the mentality that this can't ever happen to me, because I think as long as we keep that mentality, this will continue to happen," said Gray. "What we're hoping for and what we're praying for is that it kinda becomes a domino effect, that people see us standing up and say, 'You know what, I don't like this either."

Gray is in the process of creating a website and Facebook page for the coalition.

Community members are also encouraged to attend the Rock Island Police Department's monthly crime prevention meetings.

There is one scheduled for November 16, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the department's community room.