The Goldsboro City Council Chamber was overflowing last night with supporters of the family of Joyonna Persall. Persall died and five other teens were injured in a shooting last Wednesday on N. Leslie St. and E. Walnut St.
Dozens of people came to the council meeting to ask for something to be done about the specific incident, but also about gun violence in general. Many wore t-shirts with Joyonna’s picture. Others held balloons.
Maria Bell is Joyonna’s great aunt, and said that people need to speak up:
“It’s a thing that young people have when you know, like those are your friends that were all there and it feels like they rat out their friends for whatever happened. But I don’t believe that neither one of those children knew what was going to take place. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem not to say anything. I believe in my heart that a lot of them already have said something.”
Speakers implored anyone with information to call the police. So far there have been no arrests in the shooting.
Some speakers blamed the organizers of the party, which was described as a pay-to-enter event and not a private party. The location was the subject of a zoning request years ago to allow the owners to run a bed and breakfast with meeting spaces. Mayor David Ham said last night that the request was denied. He met with property owners last week after the shooting and got a promise not to host any other events.
There is a Rally for Joyonna Persall and against gun violence planned for Sunday, April 23 at the T.C. Coley Community Center – South Leslie Street, Goldsboro.