Two people are dead following a shootout in Avondale Tuesday afternoon.
The shooting happened around 2:30 p.m. near Carplin Place off of Reading Road.
One of the victims, 21-year-old Antwon Ward, was pronounced dead at the scene from gunshot wounds. A second victim, 18-year-old Tywaune Thomas, was transported to the hospital. He later died from his injuries
Police believe the shootings were in retaliation to another shooting that happened this past weekend.
Cory Maricle lives just a half a block away and says he heard about 10 gunshots Tuesday.
"This gun war is a crisis that needs to be stopped," said Maricle. "It's very sad knowing that I grew up at that age and I never would have thought of a weapon at that age."
"We are certainly not happy with this occurrence today and the fact that it seems to be a recurring theme here in Avondale with this violent street crime," said Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.
According to the most recent police data, there were 6 homicides in district 4 up until August 9th, 2013. This year that number has more than doubled.
"This is not okay. This is not okay and if some people want to say it's Avondale and that's what goes on there, that is not acceptable. This is one of our most prized and cherished communities in this city," said Blackwell.
But how will it stop?
Ozie Davis is a community leader in Avondale and says it's not a community-wide issue, these are individuals down the wrong path.
"What you find in youth is they're quitting. They're not actualizing their dreams. By the time they're 25 they've already quit when most of us have just started trying," said Ozie Davis.
Davis works with one of the victim's brothers and comforted him Tuesday for his loss. He stresses it's all about addressing the problem through education and job opportunities to teach these young men right from wrong.
"He's family to me, but we hadn't worked together other than trying to present opportunities to have a life change. His whole family knew he was doing the wrong thing," said Davis.
Ozie Davis says there's a "know your neighbor" event Saturday afternoon. There's also going to be a job fair at the gathering and Davis says it's also a way to connect the community to have a dialogue on making this a safer part of town.
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