JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local pastor is sending a message to teens in Jacksonville. Pastor John Guns said he's watching the Michael Dunn trial closely and hoping no more teens in the area become a victim of violence.
Founder of Operation Save Our Sons, Pastor John Guns' message brought him to tears as he stood before dozens of teens at the alter Sunday morning. The message was aimed to keep young black men from getting killed during altercations.
It was a message 14-year-old Tyreek Reefer took to heart.
"It was inspirational, and you think about life itself and how it should be carried on, not dying young and live longer," said Guns.
Reefer said he's watched the outcome of the Trayvon Martin trial and is now paying attention to the Jordan Davis trial. In both crimes, male black teenage were killed during fights.
"I feel like it could happen to me at any point and time," said Reefer.
"He could step out to go to the store just to get a jug of milk and it could happen," said Jenny Simpson.
Simpson said she is fighting hard to keep her son on the right track.
"I am on a daily basis. I might sound hardcore, not military, but it is what you have to do to make sure your child is taken care of and going the right way and doing the right things," said Simpson.
Guns prayed for strength and protection for all of the teens.
"Here's our reality: two young males over the last year and a half-have lost their lives for reasons that were unjustified. But it happened so we now have to change the culture by helping our young people manage the situation," said Guns.
Reefer said he knows its tough being a young black man, but he'll do his part to protect himself.
"Being responsible and not doing nothing that I'm not supposed to be doing," said Reefer.
Guns said his organization is now working to start -Operation Save Our Daughters- this summer.