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Tampa father pleads for gun violence to end after losing his son in an unsolved murder

Nadji Rivera was shot and killed last August in Tampa. His dad wants guns out of the wrong hands.

TAMPA, Fla — A Tampa father is asking for the community to take action against gun violence. 

On Aug. 28, Manuel Rivera said his son Nadji was shot and killed at a birthday party in Tampa.

Rivera said Nadji's murder hasn't been solved. He wants answers from Tampa police and action from his community.

"No answers on my son’s case, and I would like justice and for this gun violence to stop," Rivera stated.

Tampa police say they are seeing an uptick in gun violence among teenagers. There were at least three shootings this week in Tampa.

On Tuesday night, a 15-year-old was accused of shooting a 9-year-old at Robles Park.

Wednesday night, Tampa police confirmed there was a drive by shooting on Waters Avenue, where two people were injured. 

Early Thursday morning, officers confirmed there was another shooting at Waters Edge Apartments, where a man was shot in his leg. 

This has organizations in the community looking to get everyone involved to put a stop to the violence.

"This problem is bigger than any agency, it’s bigger than law enforcement, schools... it can only be solved by working together as a community," said Freddy Barton, the executive director for violence prevention collaborative Safe and Sound Hillsborough.

Barton is doing several things to cut down on crime. Barton organizes programs kids can get involved in to keep them out of trouble. For those already in the system, there are other programs in place to get them on the right path.

"We’re putting together programs and services to help these kids who got into trouble and committed some of these offenses," Barton said.

While the programs are helpful, Barton explained he needs the community to get involved.

"We need the community to tell us where the guns are and how they’re getting access," Barton added. 

The Tampa Police Department plans to hold more community forums to have discussions about solutions. If you want to get involved before those forums, Safe and Sound Hillsborough is looking for community mentors. Anyone is welcomed to get involved. Click here to learn more.

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