“Guns Down, Gloves Up” event promoting nonviolence ends in gunfire

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A 22-year-old man was shot last night after an event, which focused on ending gun violence.

The tennis court at Brown Park was a makeshift boxing ring Tuesday night for people who needed to relieve some stress.

Organizers said the event was a success, but moments later,  the purpose of the event was defeated.

The event, titled “Guns Down, Gloves Up” was intended to create a last resort environment to allow people in disagreement to settle their matter in a way that doesn’t result in gun violence. 

 “If two men can get in a square or anywhere and fight without killing each other, I’m all for that,” said Chris Bernard, a Stop the Violence community activist.

Despite the goal, a victim was shot and remains hospitalized.

The question remains, with the event being held in a public park, what liability, if any, falls on city-parish government?

“It’s a very unfortunate incident. Not one that was sanctioned by us, organized by us, we don’t condone those types of activities,” said the Director of Lafayette Parks and Recreation Gerald Boudreaux. “This is a public park and we always welcome all of our participants but this is not a boxing ring this is a tennis court.”

The mother of the victim said her son was shot four times. He will need surgery, but he is in stable condition, she said.

Boudreaux said they are trying to find the organizers of the event who may face some form of penalty.

He said certain events held in public spaces must go through the proper procedures.

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