Glaspie, 20, was fatally shot on Oct. 8 on Dogwood Way, part of the Sycamore Drive neighborhood that has become one of the most dangerous sectors of the city. Acting Antioch Police Captain Leonard Orman said Tuesday that officers are still pursuing leads, but no arrests have been made.
In response to the shooting, Pastor Nicholas Alexander of Do the Word Ministries organized a non-violence march through Antioch. The march concluded in the neighborhood where Glaspie was slain. Alexander, also a Sycamore area resident, has organized similar rallies and events following acts of violence in his neighborhood.
Alexander feels that the peaceful events need to continue as a way to show criminals that violence won’t be tolerated in the area. “It’s time for us to come together and work together under the spirit of cooperation,” he said. “Each time (crime) happens, we’re going to respond. We’re going to come out of our houses and we’re going to form a neighborhood council and be more visible and active in our community. We’re going to respond.”
Roughly 30 people marched with Alexander on Saturday, beginning at the corner of A and 18th streets and ending on Dogwood Way. Some of the marchers were Do the Word Ministries church members and some attend churches in other parts of Antioch. A group of teenagers from the Pittsburg-based youth group People Who Care arrived in a van. They held signs clamoring for peace and marched with the group.
Numerous passersby honked their horns in support. Some residents even came out from their homes to voice their pleas for peace.
According to People Who Care site coordinator Bernabe Lara Jr., it’s important for teens to participate in events such as the march as a way to give back to the community and show how people coming together can make a difference for good.
“We wanted something to be positive,” said Lara Jr., so we’re trying to change their bad habits into good habits.”
Alexander described Glaspie as a “good kid” who was fairly quiet. He didn’t know him well, but he had seen him around the neighborhood and was familiar with him.
According to Orman, on the night Glaspie was shot, he was walking to a house he’d been to regularly when two men opened fire. Orman said there’s no indication yet that the crime was gang-related.
The homicide was the fifth so far this year in Antioch, and one of a handful of shootings that have taken place in the Sycamore neighborhood. Earlier this year, the city restructured its beat map to deploy more patrol in the northeast part of town. Orman feels that the increased patrol, as well as other measures Antioch is taking to combat violent crime in the area, has worked. But it’s too early to measure the effectiveness with certainty.
“Although it’s looking like the combination of everything we’re doing is working,” Orman said, “we’ll see what it’s like in January.”
The Sycamore area was the site of another shooting on Oct. 24. The shots were fired by officers containing a suspect, a 33-year-old Antioch man on Lemontree Court who pulled a gun on cops during a confrontation. The man was wanted for burglary and violating probation on drug charges.
While Antioch police are still seeking the suspects in Glaspie’s killing, residents are still in search of peace for the man’s neighborhood.
Gail Groff, a member of Cornerstone Christian Church in Antioch, came to the march after hearing about it in her community prayer group. She was thrilled by the turnout and the response from cars passing by.
“I want to do whatever I can to be part of that community effort,” Groff said. “Everybody wants the same thing – we really do. Who wants violence?”