Community Responds To Death Of Local Business Owner
The street corner at Hodgekiss and Stayton was busier than usual, with people gathered around a makeshift memorial and members of One Vision One Life, an anti-violence advocacy group, decrying the killing of Michael Ross.
The snowy and cold Nov. 20 provided a somber backdrop to the proceedings, as members of the group handed out flyers and denounced what they see as rampant violence affecting various Pittsburgh communities.
Ross was killed during an armed robbery at his clothing store on Nov. 8, and his death sent shockwaves through the community. People remembered him for his dedication to the community and for his hard work with youths.
People packed into Allegheny Community Alliance Church to attend the funeral of a man who had given so much to help his community and the people around him.
“Michael reminds me of Nehemiah,” Reverend Randy McIver said., “a man who wanted to rebuild what others had torn down. He rebuilt Jerusalem, and in many ways, he tried to rebuild the walls of his family, his community, and the people who came in contact with him.”
El Gray, an area manager for One Vision One life, used a megaphone to speak out against Ross’s death as members of the group handed out flyers to passersby.
“The common denomination is that everyone has a life, and when you take someone else’s you lose your own,” Gray said.
The Goal of OVOL is “to reduce crime and violence by reaching out and providing opportunities for a better way of life.” Specifics include training community coordinators to be active within and informed about their communities, interceding in small disputes before they progress to violence and providing job outreach.