Tampa music artists raise awareness of rising gun violence

Tampa Bay saw the first Peace in the Streets community bike ride on Sunday.

What do you want to know

  • Peace in the Streets bike ride raised awareness of recent gun violence
  • 35 homicides in Tampa, according to the police file
  • Organizers plan more events to speak out against gun violence

Local music artist and published author Tom G was behind the event which brought together nearly 100 people for the cause.

“There is a lot of gun violence in the city right now; our youth, the city is in a state of turmoil,” said Tom G. “It’s really devastating, especially recently. We just lost a baby to gun violence in the city, so right now I’m trying to get involved and make a difference in some way.

Tampa has seen 35 homicides according to police records, and even though 11 arrests have been made on those cases, the Bay Area continues to see an increase in gun violence. Sunday’s Peace in the Streets bike ride aimed to address that issue through a show of unity.

The runners started at Curtis Hixon Park and finished a few hours later at Daddy O’s Patio restaurant in Ybor City.

“I want to use my platform to help people; even if I can just have 10 kids and make a change, it’s worth it,” said Tom G.

Daddy O Patio owners Richie Wess and Yung Dred told me that supporting events like this is what makes the community strong. They provided lunch for all runners on Sunday.

“We were 100% for and happy to have been able to be part of something like this for the city,” said Richie Wess.

Wess and his brother join Tom G in planning the next event, which they believe will be even bigger than what we saw on Sunday.

“It’s important to show unity in the community and to show that we can come together for a positive note,” Wess said. “We want better for our city and the people of the city; we grew up here and we want it to flourish.

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