UPDATED: Anti-Violence March At ECU, Parents Of Victims Speak

Fifteen members of Landon Blackley's family among hundreds of students and citizens of Greenville showed up to march the streets of downtown .

Speaking with their feet, people marched to take a stand against the recent violence happening in the downtown streets after Blackley and Andrew Kirby were shot and killed one week ago.

The parents of Landon Blackley showed up to the march and it was hard not to get emotional--coming to the very spot where their son was shot. It was nearly impossible for everyone to hold back tears, when the girlfriend of Andrew Kirby spoke out for the first time, since his death.

Tears flowed and candle lights flickered during a vigil to honor the lives of Andrew Kirby and Landon Blackley. Making the trip from Oxford, North Carolina, 15 members of the Blackley family attended the vigil. Lennie Blackley, Landon's father said a few words.

Before the vigil the family signed a large banner bearing names of over one hundred that marched the streets to put an end to violence. Step-by-step, people marched from The Other Place night club where the two men where shot one week ago to the campus of East Carolina University ending at the Cupola. For ECU Chancellor, Steve Ballard..he was forced to choke back tears.

People came together at the end of the evening, holding hands, and hugging beneath the Cupola on campus. Normally a landmark amidst the quad, now becomes a beacon of hope for the future.

The Student Government Association at ECU has planned a march against violence that starts where two men were gunned down last week.

People will meet at the Other Place night club on 5th St. in Greenville at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the march, which will proceed to the cupola on the campus of East Carolina University. There, they will hold a candlelight vigil.

An ECU student was one of the two men killed in a drive-by shooting in the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 29. Landon Blackley would have been a senior this fall.

Andrew Kirby, the manager at Michelangelo's Pizza on 5th St., also died after getting shot. Police say both men were innocent bystanders.

"This event is not just for students," said Brad Congleton, president of the Student Government Association. "We'd like community leaders and community members who want to come out and show support against violence and crime to attend and walk with us."

The Student Government Association says ECU and Greenville Police will escort the march.

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  • by joe on Jul 8, 2009 at 07:31 PM
    I went to ECU and it was safe then(1981-1986). My daughter graduates high school next year and she does not want to go because she says the town is now full of thugs. Darn shame.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jul 8, 2009 at 07:06 PM
    “The media insist that crime is the major concern of the American public today. In this connection they generally push the point that a disarmed society would be a crime-free society. They will not accept the truth that if you take all the guns off the street you still will have a crime problem, whereas if you take the criminals off the street you cannot have a gun problem.” Quote by Col. Jeff Cooper
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Jul 8, 2009 at 08:42 AM
    Well how about the next person that gets caught by the Greenville Police for shooting at other people or gets convicted should be sentenced to get thrown off of the Greene Street bridge, yes that form of the Death Penalty. Maybe that will teach the rest of these creepy thugs a lesson to stop the violence. People who commit violence, especially a murder does not deserve any less punishment than the Death Penalty. BTW, I don't care if the person that kills another person due to violence is Black, White, Mexican, Chinese, Cuban, Japanese, Indian, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Mongolian, or even Arabic. That person deserves the Death Penalty. Forget the ethnic background.
  • by bob Location: greenville on Jul 8, 2009 at 07:16 AM
    Was the SCLC there?
  • by Friend Location: NC on Jul 8, 2009 at 06:28 AM
    I would just like to know was Huggins or Rose or anyone from the SCLC there? I believe that if the city of Greenville and the SCLC wanted change in their city then they would have attended and extended their sympathies (PERSONALLY) to the family and friends, esp if Landons family made the painful trip to Greenville only to bring up horrible images of Landon's last few minutes at the scene. My heart just hurts for my friends family and I wish people would have some character and support them instead of the "poor guy" locked in jail giving him opportunity to see his family before prision...he better be locked up for life...but we already know that wont happen. RIP Landon and Drew
  • by Ted Location: Greenville on Jul 8, 2009 at 06:18 AM
    I feel much safer in downtown Greenville now. lol.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jul 8, 2009 at 05:44 AM
    No Lavon, I read the Bible. If Michael Jackson is in Heaven, the Bible is a lie. And Lavon, the Bible is not a lie. Your phony king was rejected because he ignored the truth, the light, the standards set by God in the Bible. God made it very obvious that those who embrace lives of sin were rejecting him and that he would reject them. Well, your fake king embraced much that was unholy. Sorry, the truth stings, don't follow in his footsteps. I guess he could have repented as he left the earth, but from what I understand he begged for his drugs up to the very end.
  • by me2 Location: belhave on Jul 8, 2009 at 05:12 AM
    God Bless you. I am proud that this community took a positive step. Thank you ECU students. MLK would be proud of you. This may not help quickly but it does give us hope. Shame on you Mr. Huggins. Maybe You need to check the man in the mirror.
  • by Dave on Jul 8, 2009 at 05:10 AM
    How ironic that there was a drive by SHOOTING just hours after this little peace march.
  • by JBP Location: Gville on Jul 8, 2009 at 04:53 AM
    Lavon actually has it right that a PART of the problem is a broken family (doesn't matter what color). This still is not an excuse for violence. However, men of all colors and backgrounds should not have children outside of marriage and should take responsibility for their children after a divorce or death of the mother, should either horrible circumstance occur. Living the Christian way would solve many social problems we face.

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