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After an attack left two parents dead, Harrisburg community leaders call for an end to gun violence

An attacker killed two people and injured three others in Harrisburg on Feb. 9, prompting a wave of calls to action from the community.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After a shooting left two people dead in Harrisburg on Wednesday, community leaders are calling for an end to gun violence.

Police were alerted to the Feb. 9 attack when a woman covered in blood approached them, “frantically yelling” for help, according to the criminal complaint.

That woman was Brittonie Meredith, the sister of the alleged attacker, 31-year-old Gregory Greene, Jr. Meredith had filed for a protection from abuse order on Jan. 3, saying Greene had punched and choked her. Greene violated the order about a week later by showing up at her home. He was subsequently arrested and spent a month in jail.

Police said Greene returned to the home a week after his release from prison and attacked five family members. He shot his sister, Brittonie Meredith, shot and killed his sister, 29-year-old Meredith Greene, and her fiancé, Tyler Thames. He also stabbed the couple’s two daughters, ages six and seven.

Meredith remains in critical condition in the hospital, and the two children have been released from the hospital.

“The community was shocked by this occurrence," said Kevin Dolphin, community leader and founder of Breaking the Chainz, Inc., a nonprofit that works with at-risk groups and helps ex-felons reintegrate into society. "It’s very saddening. A lot of people—not just the family members—are mourning this event."

Community leaders and officials spoke out against the attack, acknowledging some people may have lost confidence in protection measures such as restraining orders.

“This crime involved someone who was barred by a protection from abuse order," said Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo. "If people are inclined to violate that order, it’s just an order and they will violate it.” 

Despite, or perhaps, because of their grief, community members have stepped up to support the survivors. A family friend posted a GoFundMe that raised more than $30,000 as of Thursday evening.

“They need the support," Dolphin said. "They need us right now. Then after that, we need to continue to push for a change because this violence, it has to stop. It has to stop.”

To help stop the violence, Dolphin and Chardo will both attend a town hall next week to discuss gun violence.

“We need other organizations," said Dolphin. "We need the police department. We need other city officials. We need everyone to come together. But I know from being boots on the ground, 24 hours a day, that I have ideas that will work.”

The Town Hall for Justice is scheduled for Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Nativity School in Harrisburg. The public is welcome to attend.

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