Harford County Councilman Andre Johnson is encouraging people to remember victims of gun violence this weekend by wearing orange, as well as take part in a Wear Orange Community Cleanup and Fair happening in Edgewood Saturday.
Johnson said he plans to attend the event, which he stressed is “completely free” of charge, and he encouraged his council colleagues and others to join him.
He announced the cleanup and fair during Tuesday’s council meeting, as he paid tribute to the victims of the recent mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach and the 11-year-old Edgewood boy who died May 31 after being rescued from a private swimming pool he was visiting with his family on Memorial Day.
A longtime city employee opened fire at the city's Municipal Center in Virginia Beach and killed 12 people. Here are their names.
By The Virginian-Pilot staff
Jun 01, 2019 | 10:48 PM
Johnson said the shooting in which 12 people were “brutally gunned down” May 31 “kind of hits home with me,” as the Army veteran had been stationed in the Virginia Beach area.
The shooter, who had been a city employee, killed 11 municipal workers and a contractor in the facility parking lot. The suspect died after engaging in a shootout with police.
Friday is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and Johnson noted the national Wear Orange campaign started by a group of young people to honor a friend lost to gun violence in 2013. Hadiya Pendleton was 15 when she was killed in Chicago in 2013, one week after she performed in the second inaugural parade for then-President Barack Obama, according to the Wear Orange website.
“Orange is a bright, bold color that demands to be seen and respected and responded to,” said Johnson, who noted it is the color typically worn by hunters to make themselves visible to other hunters.
The community cleanup is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Edgewater Park behind the Save-A-Lot store off of Route 40. The cleanup will happen near Lake Serene, which is near the Edgewood recreation center at 1980 Brookside Drive.
The fair will follow from noon to 2 p.m., happening outside the recreation center, Johnson said. There will be a number of community services available, along with food, music, crafts and face painting for children.
“It’s all in honor of those that have been affected and impacted by gun violence,” he said.
Johnson also paid tribute to Zephaniah Muchele, a fifth-grader at Magnolia Elementary School, who died days after nearly drowning at a pool in Joppa.
Muchele was treated after being pulled from the pool, and his pulse had been restored by the time he arrived at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. He was transferred to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, where he died May 31, according to his family.