Gun violence discussion held at Forest Acres church after armed robbery, shooting

Updated: Sep. 12, 2019 at 11:26 PM EDT
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FOREST ACRES, S.C. (WIS) - On Thursday night, several community organizations and law enforcement agencies got together for a roundtable discussion on gun violence.

It was held at Centro Cristiano de Columbia Church off Decker Boulevard in Forest Acres. That was where one man was shot during an armed robbery late last month.

During the event, they laid out the importance of strong community and police relations as well as good communication in the event people see something suspicious or against the law.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department, Columbia Police, and Fifth Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson were present.

Different organizations like Building Better Communities, Faith Coalition on Gun Violence, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America were also there.

Henry Alfaro, the pastor of Centro Cristiano de Columbia Church, also spoke in front of several of his church members. He recounted the day of the armed robbery.

Alfaro also had a message for his community and church family.

"We cannot face this alone. We have to face this with the community, as a community. It was not our church that was attacked. It was the community that received the attack. It was our families. Now, it was in our sanctuary, but if we don't do something, it could happen anywhere and we don’t want this to happen again," Alfaro said.

Pastor Alfaro said, while some of his members at times may be worried about speaking to police, things have changed and they are learning that police are there to work with them and that the community is supporting them in this situation.

Forest Acres Police are still looking for the suspect in that armed robbery.

If you have any information, you're urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC.

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