Hudson: 'Just stop, stop the violence'

Despite chilly conditions, nine Syracuse community members gathered in a circle at 148 Lilac St. at a quarter past 5 on the night of Jan. 11 to remember Casimir Snyder, 47, who was gunned down in his own driveway only just over a week ago.

Bundled in a long coat, gloves and a hat, Helen Hudson of Mothers Against Gun Violence lead the vigil as several neighbors on the street carried on with their everyday activities.

Snyder was an employee of the City Department of Public Works as a Motor Equipment Operator, but was out on workers compensation for the last 2 months. His family was home while the vigil was held, but they did not come outside.

Yet again, Syracuse was faced with another homicide in the first few days of the New Year, but the city showed little concern on Sunday in particular. Residents of Lilac Street walked past the vigil without missing a step or turning their heads.

Out of thousands of residents of Syracuse and the surrounding towns, one more man joined the circle a few minutes after the vigil began to make the circle's final count of 10 people.

The straggler joining the circle, Madis Senner, grew up in the city and didn't move until much later to work on Wall Street for several years. Senner returned to Syracuse eight years ago, and noticed some definite changes in the city.

"The violence was very startling," Senner said. "I was troubled by it and I wanted to do all that I could."

Senner said he firmly believes in prayer and getting groups of people together to remember those that have passed on, and pray for change. He recalled the Prayer Patrol that was lead by Rev. Larry Ellis, then pastor of God's Way Church of Jesus. Ellis formed the tradition of driving through neighborhoods in a van with a speaker reciting prayers loud enough to hear from many street corners.

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