‘Stop the Violence’ event held in memory of Dillon High School student shot, killed over summer

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:03 PM EDT
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DILLON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A Dillon County mother brought the community together for a cause that hits close to home.

The Dillon County Wellness Center was home to the first “Stop the Violence” event hosted by Cierra Fletcher. Fletcher is the mother of 15-year-old Janare Fletcher, whose life was taken by gun violence this past June.

Authorities said that Janare was shot and killed in the Bunker Hill community. The Dillon County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 13-year-old in connection to the deadly shooting.

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Parents at the event shared the same sentiments, gun violence is happening too often and they want a way to stop it.

“We need a stop right now,” said Fletcher. “We need to stop because it’s too much going on right now, and it’s hurting too many families.”

Since Janare’s death, Fletcher has made it her mission to help bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement.

Members of the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and State House Representatives were in attendance at the event.

“This is where we gain the public’s trust, and coming out talking to the public, and be able to voice our concerns, share our concerns, and try to find solutions to the problems we have,” said Dillon County Chief Deputy Jamie Hamilton. “I’ll be the first to tell you, law enforcement has done some things to hurt the public’s trust. We got to regain that, but it starts with having real conversations like we’re doing and coming together.”

Some leaders said that awareness of gun violence starts at home.

“We’ve got to make stronger gun laws, especially for these younger people,” said South Carolina House District 55 Rep. Jackie Hayes.

Since January, Dillon County has seen a total of eight homicides. Those lives lost not only affect the family but the community.

“It’s going to take each and every neighborhood, each and every pastor, each and every organization for the same common goal, stop the violence,” said Dillon County Sheriff Douglas Pernell.

As for Fletcher, her family is still trying to manage and adjust.

“He was a big brother, he played his role and he played it well,” Fletcher said. “And he looked out for them and now they know that something is missing.”

Janare was a student at Dillon High School. Timothy Gibbs, Dillon High School principal, said that staff members are working on after-school programs to keep students occupied and away from violence.

As for the 13-year-old arrested in the deadly shooting, Shipp Daniel, with the 4th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, said he has filed paperwork to begin the process of charging the teen as an adult. He explained the process takes several weeks because paperwork has to be filed, an evaluation has to be done on the 13-year-old suspect and there has to be a hearing in juvenile court, where a judge will determine if the solicitor’s office is allowed to charge the teen as an adult.

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