Wilmington residents rally against violence [video]

 Seen here with her grandson Cameron, 56-year-old Cheryl Allen is home again days after being struck by two stray bullets.(Nichelle Polston/Newsworks)

Seen here with her grandson Cameron, 56-year-old Cheryl Allen is home again days after being struck by two stray bullets.(Nichelle Polston/Newsworks)

Days after being shot on her porch, 56-year-old Cheryl Allen had already returned home when community members rallied against violence.

On Wednesday, the Wilmington Peacekeepers, a local organization that speaks out against gun violence, attracted a large crowd outside of Allen’s home to draw attention to the shooting and to the impact of violence in Wilmington.

“It’s a lot of love. I know that I’m well-loved and I appreciate it,” said Allen, who was seated with her one-year-old grandson Cameron at the rally.

According to police, two men began shooting at an unknown target late Monday afternoon from the intersection of W. 25th and N. Madison Streets. Allen, who can often be seen seated outside of her W. 25th Street home, was struck by two 9 mm bullets. The projectiles entered her chest and side.

“What’s the magic number?” asked Peacekeepers’ Director Brother Lamont X, seeking the number of community members who must endure violence before residents stand up for justice. X led the rally, and encouraged community members to join the fight against violence.

Coincidentally, Allen’s husband Matthew is a member of the Peacekeepers, who are easily identified on the streets by their bright orange apparel. He expressed relief that his wife survived the ordeal. 

“I thank God for my wife,” Allen said. “That is a woman who has the full armor of God on her and he saved her for a reason.”

Since the shooting, Allen said that the incident has especially motivated him in the attempt to keep his neighborhood safe.

“I’m not going to stop this mission because it makes me stronger in going out and promoting peace,” he said.

In fact, Allen, who has been an active Peacekeeper since the group formed five years ago, said he would like to mentor the two young men responsible for Monday’s shooting.

“We as peacekeepers, we as pastors, we as advocates can give them some spiritual guidance,” he said, “because that’s the first thing on our ten point program, a spiritual awakening.”

The search remains underway to find the two shooters, who fled the scene. Wilmington Police are asking anyone with information to call the confidential tip line at (302) 576-3990.

“We have to get together when things happen,” Cheryl Allen said. “We have to start telling.”

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