FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - With tears in her eyes and her son's blood dried on her hands, Denise Trigg looked right into NewsChannel 15's camera with a message for Fort Wayne.
"To all the mothers and fathers out there, talk to your kids about hanging out on the street. It's not worth it. Teach them that following these gangs and cliques are not what you should be doing or your child will be like mine: 23 years old and dead in front of his mother's house," Denise begged.
Her passionate plea is not lost on the chief of the Fort Wayne Police Department, Rusty York. He watched NewsChannel 15's interview on Friday.
"She's absolutely right," York said. "As a community we have to work together."
"She was involved in trying to get her son out of this environment," he said.
Many of the homicides in Fort Wayne are drug or gang related.
"It's a circle of violence," York said. "We see shootings occur and then retaliation and it goes on and on and on and it has to stop somewhere. This violence will ebb when either young people are put in jail or they die."
The problem police have in putting perpetrators behind bars is that witnesses won't come forward.
"In all our homicides we have very little information and people are reluctant to come forward with information about who might have been involved. We usually have a pretty good idea of who the perpetrator is but without ... evidence, we can't prosecute," York said.
"It's not snitching," she cried.
"That's absolutely right to stop this circle of violence. When you have no one coming forward, you just know the other shoe's going to drop. A day from now, a week from now, somebody from this gang will seek retribution and fire on another person," York said .
York added that there is a groundswell in Fort Wayne of leaders saying enough is enough.
"We're working with various community resources to get to kids younger and younger to help prevent this type of activity," he said.