Community looking for solutions to violence that took a Hartford teen’s life

HARTFORD -- Candles still burn as a makeshift memorial along Garden Street continues to grow for 15-year old Keon Huff, Jr.

Keon was shot and killed Friday night in the staircase of a north Hartford apartment building.

Now, people living in that neighborhood are wondering what happens next.  “About a month ago, a young man got killed at the corner. You understand? He has a baby,” said north Hartford resident, Donna G.

Donna said sadly, shootings are normal on her block and also normal, is what happens following such tragedies, including the vigils and a plea to find the killers. That same cycle continues to repeat itself, along Garden Street alone, for decades.

“Our kids are still dying. We are still not saying anything to help. We need help. We are crying for help,” said Donna.

Hartford mayor Luke Bronin said there is an effort underway by city leaders, residents and many faith-based organizations to help residents living in the city's crime-ridden neighborhoods, like those in north Hartford.

In fact, many groups in the city were working to get Keon on the right track before Friday’s shooting, including the mayor. “I sat with Keon on more than one occasion over the past year to talk about his life, his future,” said Mayor Bronin.

However, Mayor Bronin said, sometimes, there's disconnect and he's working to better coordinate the efforts, but stressed, he can't do it alone. “We will not accept this as normal. I wish we could change it overnight. I know we can't, but, we cannot ever accept this as normal,” said Bronin.

“I'm calling them all out. Join with us. Help us. We all can't do it by ourselves. We need some leaders,” said Donna.