MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- This weekend brought more violence in the city of Milwaukee. We saw six separate shooting incidents Thursday into Friday (with one fatality) -- and then two separate shootings late Saturday. This, as a violent May in Milwaukee comes to an end. In May, we saw two shootings involving young children. On May 14th, in broad daylight, an 11-year-old girl was shot and injured near 25th and Capitol. Then, on May 21st, 10-year-old Sierra Guyton suffered a serious gunshot wound to the head -- shot as she played on the playground. As spring turns to summer, we're seeing residents living in some of the Milwaukee communities affected by the recent violence taking steps to "take back" their neighborhoods -- and on Sunday, June 1st -- it was business owners at the Milwaukee Mall holding an event to promote peace.
The area surrounding Fond du Lac and North Avenue is considered a "high crime" area -- but shop owners at the Milwaukee Mall and those who live in the area say it doesn't have to be.
In an event called the "June Jam," offering free food, raffle prizes, activities for children, and local music performers -- those who live and work near Fond du Lac and North made an effort on Sunday to come together in a positive way to promote peace and unity.
Dyonca Wade says her neighborhood is heading in the right direction. She is the marketing consultant for the Milwaukee Mall.
The mall is in the heart of a neighborhood that's hurting -- but what better place than the heart to begin the healing process.
"We serve (neighbors), but actually, they serve us -- because without them, we wouldn't have a business," Wade said.
Wade is more than the mall's business manager though. She'll soon open her own space -- but she won't be selling anything.
"Job resume workshops, computer literacy, ESL," Wade said.
Her "shop" will also include budgeting classes, and classes for those looking to acquire their GED or head to college.
Wade says she'll offer the kind of resources neighborhoods should offer families.
"You know, if people feel that you are embracing them and you are coming to them on their same level and not above them or beneath them, you can reach them better," Wade said.
It is for the same reason Wade spearheaded the "June Jam" event that took place in the mall's parking lot on Sunday.
Wade says it offered another chance to build people up and keep violence down.
Several businesses in the mall are offering services to neighbors, like Wade.
Albert Thornton is working to help job seekers get free phones through a government program.
"We're trying to do some new things here to spark the community to come back," Thornton said.
Efforts to support neighbors in neighborhoods affected by violence and this "take back our neighborhood" attitude is becoming a movement in Milwaukee -- something Wade and others are happy to see.
"We can only do our part as business owners -- but one person can actually make a difference," Wade said.
Wade says she can see the progress in the neighborhood already.
She was one year ago, there were maybe seven vendors leasing space in the mall.
Now, there are 20 -- and hopefully more to come.
Meanwhile Sunday, Valerie Lewis brought her congregation to the street near Melvina and North 24th Place.
"I took my church and I said 'everybody -- we gonna take it to the street.' We're taking our community back, and we're taking it by force," Lewis said.
The site of Lewis' pulpit on Sunday was on Thursday, the scene of a shooting.
Police say shots fired from a car struck a 30-year-old man as he was walking.
Police say this incident wasn't a random shooting.
Neighbors say they've had enough of the violence.
"It's time for us to come together in love and peace and unity," Lewis said.
Earlier in May, one block away from where the congregation prayed on Sunday -- an 11-year-old girl was one of two people shot in broad daylight.
Again, police say shots were fired from a car.
As the congregation prayed on Sunday -- neighbor Barbara Killebrew decided to join in.
Killebrew says she's tired of all the violence -- and angry about it.
"I'd love to tell those young men who got those guns that they need to put those guns down because it could be one of their family members that's dying or getting shot," Killebrew said.
D'Sean Hampton lives nearby and says he's constantly hearing gunshots.
"Even I heard it just last night. My momma prayed it off," Hampton said.
The community joined together Sunday to pray for the protection of their neighbors, and healing for the neighborhood -- and also, that those firing the guns will start valuing life.
"There's a lot of funerals going on. People can't afford to bury their loved ones and they're left grieving and they're left angry, and they're constantly -- out of that anger and bitterness, they're killing one another," Ladonna Gladney said.