Alarmed by increasing violence, a group of Fort Worth ministers drove through high-crime neighborhoods Sunday and blared an anti-crime message -- with hearses following along to make their point.
"When are we going to stand up and say, 'Enough is enough?'" preached minister T.J. Ragster into a microphone near Miller Avenue and U.S. Highway 287. "When are we going to say, 'We're tired of seeing our young people die?'"
The effort came just hours after a shooting at the Butler Place public housing project killed 16-year-old Robert Boozer and left another young man hospitalized. Police said investigators didn't think the shooting was gang related.
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But another murder last Tuesday, in the parking lot of a tire shop on Berry Street, was apparently gang related, police said.
"It seems as if every day, every other day, we're hearing about somebody getting killed. It's getting ridiculous," Jenkins said. "And to know we haven't reached summertime yet."
Former gang leader Felton Jenkins joined the others to urge young people to put down their guns.
"No parent wants their child to go before them," he said. "To my young men that's causing all this crime, think about your daughter or your son."
The hearses were donated by the Gregory W. Spencer Funeral Directors.
Fort Worth police officers helped the ministers by escorting them through neighborhoods and providing an RV when they stopped on Miller Avenue.
"We have seen some uptick in gang activity," said assistant police chief Charlie Ramirez.
Police said they planned to crack down where they can, but need help, he said.
"We can't do this by ourselves," Ramirez said. "It's going to take our community, it's going to take everybody."