SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Local leaders who have spoken out about the mass shooting that left 13 people shot in Buffalo and 10 dead are calling for an end to the violence.
An 18-year-old white man is charged with the tragedy that is being investigated as a hate crime.
“Our prayers go out to the family, to the city, to the extended family, and especially the first responders that are going to have to take this with them throughout the rest of their lives," said Francine Maxwell, chairwoman of Black Men and Women United San Diego.
Police said the gunman shot 11 black and two white victims.
“Today started out people going grocery shopping. [It's] something so simple, and they were supposed to return home, and they didn’t,” said Maxwell.
Hate crimes are happening around the country. In San Diego, statistics released in March show a 77 percent increase in hate crimes. Twenty-five were racially motivated, with most involving African Americans.
“I’m very concerned with the lack in the sense of urgency that we’re having to make sure that we can dial back some of the rhetoric — some of the hate speech that’s going on," said Maxwell.
Maxwell said sitting down as a nation and having uncomfortable conversations while looking at current legislation is the solution.
“We have too many loopholes where people are getting guns who don’t deserve to have guns. I believe in people’s constitutional rights but not when they impact the lives of so many people across the nation," said Maxwell.
She added more people need to step up and say something when they see something.
Meanwhile, local members of Congress have shared their shock about the tragedy.
Congresswoman Sarah Jacobs said the violence must be addressed.
"Racism, violent extremism, and gun violence are devastating our country and must be addressed. It is up to us to build a country where people can live their daily lives free from this violence," she said in a statement.
Congressman Mike Levin tweeted out that his prayers are with those impacted.
"We must do more to address both the plague of gun violence in our country and the growing threat of domestic extremism by white supremacists," he said in part.
ABC 10News also reached out to Congressman Darrel Issa who did not agree to an interview about the subject.
Gun right's attorney John Dillion said what the gunman did was evil.
“What we saw in Buffalo was an act of pure evil. The perpetrator should never see the light of day ever again,” said John Dillion, attorney.