Rally held against wave of murders in Pomona

POMONA, Calif.

The group of religious leaders, victims' families and residents marched to City Hall for a rally calling for the violence to come to an end. Twelve people have been murdered in Pomona in the past four months.

"We're just trying to make the city a better place to live, and we just want to tell everybody increase the peace, there's no need for this," said Pomona resident Efren Vargas.

The march and rally was organized by Pastor Chris Cotinola of Victory Outreach Church. Cotinola's only son was gunned down in March.

"The whole message is that our city is not a city of death, it's a city of life," Cotinola said.

Pomona Mayor Elliott Rothman said the city's police department is trying do its part.

"We're all working as diligently as we can, but we need the people of the city to come out in a unified voice and say 'No, we're not going to allow violence to rule our lives,'" Rothman said.

The murders appear to be gang related or motivated by racial intolerance.

"It's devastating, young lives being taken," said Diane Quesada of Pomona. "It's senseless. We have to take a stand somewhere."

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.