South St. Pete residents canvass to stop the violence

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-09 18:18:16-04

Taking back our neighborhoods from crime. Communities are coming together in St. Petersburg to say we've had enough!

Neighbors in South St. Pete are turning to unconventional ways to stop the violence. They're giving out thousands of "Not My Son" yard signs and t-shirts. The most powerful method to stop crime: They're canvassing door by door starting in the Wildwood neighborhood to beg one another to step up and stop the violence.

A stop sign dotted with signs of a teenage life cut short and a gravesite are all Beverly Crittenton has left to remember her son Trevion Larkins. One year ago, on June 10, 2016, the 15-year-old was shot dead just one block from his house. The teen behind the trigger was just 18-years-old.

"He hadn't even really began his life," Crittenton explained while standing by the memorial at 40th Street S and 14th St S. "I went through hell, and I'm still going through hell."

Crittenton can't help but wonder lf her son Trevion's death could have been prevented.

"These teenage boys have to have some type of gun on them which doesn't make any sense at all," she said with frustration. 

It makes her sick to think of all the other parents in her shoes and the teens in her neighborhood still living dangerously.

Reverand Kenny Irby is fed up too.

"We've seen too many of our young men going to prison or worse yet to a gravesite," he explained.

That's why Irby is rallying parents to step up and to snatch guns out of the hands of teens.

"We are not blaming parents we are trying to help parents by saying your children need structure."

Crittenton is desperate to keep history from repeating, "I'm disappointed and mad at the same time. It seems like nothing is happening."

This week, on what would have been Trevion's 16th birthday, his family received an amazing gift. 

"My daughter ended up giving birth to my first grandchild on Trevion's birthday. What a miracle," she said.

A baby boy named Trevari, born two months early, and named after the uncle he'll never meet.

"It put chills through our body, it's his birthday and she had him on his birthday," she exclaimed.

That only gives Crittenton more momentum to fight for peace on the streets of her Child's Park neighborhood.

Community members will start canvassing will be out every Friday night through September canvassing neighborhoods and encouraging peace. They'll move to different neighborhoods in South St Pete from week to week. The next event will be June 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Harbordale Community. community members can meet at the corner of 22nd Avenue South and Highland Street South.