Nova Scotia

10th Halifax homicide prompts call for anti-violence measures

The shooting death of Shakur Jefferies, Halifax's 10th homicide this year, prompts a call for anti-violence measures.

'To those that are carrying guns, look at your kids,' says anti-violence activist

Markese Logan said he and Shakur Jefferies grew up together and were like brothers. (CBC)

Markese Logan got the urge to call his best friend, Shakur Jefferies, on Saturday. Little did he know it would be the last time the two spoke.

The long-time friends chatted for a couple of minutes and even made plans to meet up later.

"Something was telling me, you know, just give him a call," Logan said.

Just hours later, Jefferies was shot and killed, his body found outside an apartment building on Washmill Lake Drive in Halifax. 

'A loving brother'

"The strength I have right now is me just pretending because I'm kind of still in shock," Logan said. "I'm kind of just processing it in my mind right now that I won't have that person there anymore that you do those everyday things with."

Shakur Jefferies, 21, was killed Nov. 12, 2016. (Facebook)

"Me and him were talking about going to a Raptors game and seeing Oklahoma City play. That's our favourite ball team. It was so cool because he and I clicked on so many similar things. It's like I lost a part of my heart," Logan said. 

Carvel Clayton, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting and made a brief court appearance Monday.

Jefferies's death is Halifax's 10th homicide. For a Halifax anti-violence advocate, it's 10 too many.

Enough is enough

"It should be a national, big issue," said Quentrel Provo, founder of the Stop the Violence movement. "People are losing their lives every day to violence and what are we doing to try and fix this and try and better the system?"

Quentrel Provo wants politicians to help draw up policies and plans to curb violence. (CBC)

Provo has organized marches in the past after gun violence in the city, but now he wants politicians involved to help come up with solutions to prevent future incidents.

"Black communities are going to be hurting and trying to figure out ways and solutions to this but in the political, municipal government, who is going to be that person to say enough is enough and wants to sit down and create change?"

'Look at your kids'

Provo said he is working on a mentorship program for youth that will launch in 2017. Despite all the killings in Halifax in 2016, he remains hopeful that the violence can end. 

"To those that are carrying the guns, look at your kids. Look at your kids or look at your nephew or look at the kids in the other community ... listen to their voice. Put down the guns for them," said Provo.

"And to the family members, parents, cousins, sisters, uncles … if you know someone going down the wrong path, to their friends, their close boys, get them before it's too late. You're the one that has the power to do that."

Healing and moving forward

Logan said his focus now is to heal.

"It's really nice to see a lot of people post things and for me to read it, it kind of eases my pain just a little," Logan said.

"I respect everyone that's come out and sent out their condolences not only to myself but [Jefferies's] family because they deserve everything right now."

With files from Kyah Sparks and Shaina Luck