Community leaders call to end youth violence in DeKalb County

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Ending the cycle of youth violence. It's the desperate call from leaders in DeKalb County after a horrific tragedy. A three-year-old was killed and a teenage boy has since been arrested for the toddler's murder.

“It just tore my heart out. I said we got to do more,” said Pastor Victor Speakman, Bethel Baptist Church.

A heartbroken community has been grieving with the parents of 3-year-old T'Rhigi Craig. The toddler was shot and killed on Easter Sunday while riding in the backseat of a car. Police said the bullet came from a gas station at the corner of Eastland and Bouldercrest roads. A 15-year-old boy is now charged with the murder.

The circumstances and crime scene hit hard for so many.

“About 3 and a half miles away from the church… it's a travesty for me to think about,” said Pastor Speakman.

FOX 5’s Marissa Mitchell sat down with the pastor and nonprofit-leader Orrin Hudson. One uses faith to reach young people. The other used the game of chess.

Hudson understands the streets. He said he was a gang member in his teens.

“I’m not even supposed to be here because a lot of my friends didn’t make it,” said Hudson.

But he and Speakman want to steer young people from committing crimes.

“Maybe if we focus the attention on the child prior to. What we have been accustomed to doing is reaction versus being proactive,” said Speakman.

“We need all hands on deck. Law enforcement is a good tool, we need parents to step their game up, we need the pastors. We need the whole community,” said Hudson. “You can make one move in life and you can't recover. That little 3-year-old can’t recover and the 15-year-old can’t recover.”

RELATED: 15-year-old arrested in connection to deadly drive-by shooting of 3-year-old boy