Rochester reverend loses son to city violence

Posted at: 09/25/2013 1:42 PM | Updated at: 09/26/2013 5:20 PM
By: Nikki Rudd |

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We all want our neighborhoods and streets to be a safe place for families. That's why News10NBC is sharing the stories of people impacted by violence in the city.

For decades, Bishop David Singleton has been serving the city of Rochester. Preaching the good news, but on June 24, he got some news no parent ever wants to hear.

Bishop Singleton said, “A knock came to the door. The wife woke me up. I was asleep already and the person said, 'Your son, Jahmia, he's been shot. He's laying in the street and no one's doing nothing.'”

By the time he got to the scene on Central Avenue, his son had been taken to the hospital. He didn't make it. 

Bishop Singelton said, “Everything just takes on a different flavor after that.”

His son, 31-year-old Jahmia Singleton wasn't the only one killed that night. Twenty seven-year-old Reggie Johnson was also gunned down. Singleton says his son was trying to break up a fight between Johnson and the shooter outside Club Network.

Days later, investigators say they tried to question Ralph Strong Jr. about the double homicide. But say he then lead them on a chase and injured an officer during a shoot out at North Goodman and Norton Streets. Strong is now charged with not only the murders, but with attempted aggravated murder and assault on a police officer.

Singleton plans to see Strong face-to-face next week in court, but he also has a message for other people who are trying to get out of a culture of violence.

Bishop Singleton said, “I would encourage them to turn their gun in whether directly or indirectly. Their future can be re-written. Their resume can be re-written, but it's going to take some changes and it starts with an individual.”

The Southwest Gun Buyback will be at 342 Arnett Boulevard this Saturday September 28 from 11:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. No questions will be asked. You'll get a debit card or gift card in exchange for a gun.

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