INDIANAPOLIS — Putting a stop to gun violence in Indianapolis might take work, but local pastors are trying step up to the challenge.
In a matter of 30 years, Pastor Wayne Moore has stood in his pulpit and comforted countless families ripped apart by gun violence.
"To date, I have buried six 16-21 year olds. That's not the joy of ministry at all," Moore said. "Guns don't work unless we put them to work."
Seeing the grief and tears put a fire inside Moore to help. Now he's teaming up with other pastors to see the vision through with a gun buyback event from noon-5 p.m. Saturday at the Messiah Baptist Church on East 38th Street in Indianapolis. People can exchange firearms for cash gift cards, and they must have a valid ID.
The initiative by Indy Cease Fire also involves efforts from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Chief Brian Roach, the Indianapolis Public Safety Foundation, the Indy Public Safety Office and the Indianapolis City-County Council.
The point of the event is to collect unwanted and unused guns so they won't end up hurting anyone or landing in the wrong hands.
"It hurts. i don't think there's any other way to put it, except it hurts. Even when it's not you, you know the pain. It's familiar pain to know yet another family has joined this awful club," Deandra Dycus said.
Dycus knows the pain is just beginning once the bullet leaves the chamber of a gun.
"It was a stray bullet. Dre was attending a birthday party on the far west side and a stray bullet flew through a window and hit my son," she said.
Her personal story about her son has stirred a passion to protect and save young people from suffering the same fate since her son now relies on a wheelchair and doesn't talk nearly six years after shots rang out at that party.
"It changes life forever," Dycus said.
Moore is on one side of things burying victims, while Dycus is on the other and living the personal experience. However, both are fighting the same fight to keep young people from reaching for guns.