Cherry Hill neighborhood hold peace rally after teen shot to death

Najee Thomas was 14-years-old

As dozens of young faces looked on, the stuffed animals they normally play with and squeeze tight when they go to sleep mark the place where their 14-year-old neighbor Najee Thomas was shot to death on Tuesday .
 
"It's a shame we had to come together for this but we still are going to show our support," Yolanda Cook, a Cherry Hill resident for 50 years, said. 
 
Responding to the death, the Cherry Hill community showed their concern in large numbers by crowding Roundview Road to show they won't accept this kind of violence. 
 
 
Speaking directly to the kids, while parents held them close, speakers provided not only encouragement but also a plan of action. 
 
Tyrone Hall teaches boxing in the community and recruits kids to give them a positive outlet.  
 
He says Najee is the fourth student he's lost to street violence. 
 
"To see the young men murdered on the streets at 14 and 15 years old, this is our future. The children are the future, right? And to see them ... I'm just holding my tears back right now," Hall said. 
 
Hall said he is determined to continue doing the work he does in the community by reaching out to young people. The rally for peace proved he is not alone.
 
"It takes for the community to come out and stand up against violence. It takes for the churches to come outside the church walls and stand up against this violence before a change is made. ... We have to grab hold of these young kids. We can't save them all but we sure can reach a lot of them," Michael Battle, a member of the Disciple Street Team, told ABC2. 
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