Community Turns To Faith After Shooting Tragedy - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Community Turns To Faith After Shooting Tragedy

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by Marcus Washington

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The shooter from last Thursday's bus stop shooting was still on the loose Sunday as a community searched for peace to get through the tragedy.

The sight of 17-year-old Johnathan Johnson lying in the street after he was shot Thursday morning is still clear for anyone calling that area of North Nashville home.

Less than a mile from where the murder happened sits a place of faith and forgiveness, Swift Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, where prayers for Johnson and his family are lifted.

"We come seeking your love right now for the Johnson family, God. We pray you keep them tangled in your love," prayed Pastor Leon Corder, Jr.

Sunday, Pastor Corder centered his sermon on, healing when you are experiencing hate; something he said is the root of Thursday's murder and many more.

"How do we handle hate and hatred when it seems like God is doing nothing; therefore, I feel like I should take matters in my own hands," said Corder. "We need to understand that the answer is not retaliation."

In a congregation where people shed tears of joy and search for truth in the words of the Bible, the pain of what happened confuses teens like Lexie Long who said, "I thought it was sad because people don't realize that was someone's family."

In this world spin of events that more and more teens are facing, she said the words of Pastor Corder helped her realize there is no need to hate.

"Realize that shooting and fighting doesn't solve anything, it really doesn't. I mean, if he owed you money or something like that, you still aren't getting it. So, it doesn't solve anything," said Long.

It's a message youth leader Cassandra Cox thought about as she prayed for the family of the victim and the suspect, 17-year-old Eric Goodner.

"My challenge to them is to love one another more. It's not easy, but they can take the first step and forgive that person and begin to love that person," said Cox.

Police believe Eric Gooder is still in the area - and that maybe someone is helping him hide.

A reward is available to anyone with information leading to an arrest.  You can call Crimestoppers at 74-CRIME

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