Bringing attention to the sharp rise in homicides in Little Rock is the goal of organizers of an event being planned on the steps of the state Capitol.
The central Arkansas chapters of Parents of Murdered Children and Stop the Violence are hosting a candlelight vigil Sunday night in response to the 33 percent increase in murders in the city last year.
Amy Stivers, a victim advocate from Parents of Murdered Children, says the vigil is a first for the chapter which was founded in 1991.
“This is not something we have ever done before. This is for the year 2016 because of all the people that were lost and definitely because of the children. There were three toddlers whose lives were taken,” Stivers says.
The 41 homicides reported in 2016 in Little Rock represented a significant increase over the 31 reported the year before, but in the past decade the city has seen as many as 58 murders in a year and as few as 25.
Stivers says the vigil is open to the public and is scheduled to include comments from representatives from the Little Rock Police Department, and the Arkansas Legislature. She hopes leaders and lawmakers in Arkansas will notice and take steps to reducing violence in the city and state.
Event details can be found here.