Rally Held Following String Of Violence In East Topeka

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – About 200 Topekans took a stand against violence Wednesday night, following recent crimes in East Topeka.

On Christmas Eve, 41-year-old Matthew Hill was shot and killed, while working at the Hudson Liquor Store, and in November two store clerks were critically wounded at Mo’s Convenience Express. Both businesses are located in the Hudson Crossing shopping plaza, where the rally took place.

Neighbors, city council members, and police officers attended the rally. Organizers say it was time to take a stand against violence.

“I want everyone to feel safe down here. We’ve never felt unsafe,” said Amy Sanford, who was Matthew Hill’s girlfriend.

“A lot of people have been saying that this store (Mo’s Express) needs to close down. The last thing we need right now is another vacant building in our area,” said Corrie Wright, who organized the rally.

“We want everybody to know that this (East Topeka) is still a great place to be,” said Anthony Talbert, employee at Mo’s Express Convenience Store.

“All of us need to make that commitment to do something, when we see something in our community that doesn’t fit in,” said Topeka Councilman Chad Manspeaker.

Organizers encouraged people to join neighborhood groups. They also say Wednesday night’s rally was about taking steps to make sure all of Topeka is safe.