Muskogee County civil rights group works to combat gun violence after massing shooting in Taft

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — The Muskogee County NAACP is working for change after a mass shooting in Taft, Okla. killed one woman and injured nine others over Memorial Day weekend.

Muskogee County NAACP President Rev. Roger Cutler told FOX23 he spoke with the 10-year-old girl who was shot in the leg at the Memorial Day weekend celebration. He also said he recently prayed with her.

“How this little 10-year-old has been traumatized, it could have been averted if we did some things earlier,” Rev. Cutler said.

Which is why he’s condemning the shootings and calling on a cease fire with a gun buy back program. This program would have no prosecution involved for those who participate, according to Rev. Cutler.

>>>MORE: Taft residents want the public to remember them after the Memorial Day weekend mass shooting

He also said the NAACP is working with the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Muskogee to put together a mass shooting training course for residents so they know how to react and provide life-saving help for their neighbors.

“We need to know this is an epidemic that’s going on, and we do not want this to become a desensitizing thing that just becomes the norm,” Rev. Cutler said “We need to know how to respond.”

Friday, community partners in Taft and Muskogee are holding a “Spread the Love” event for children in Taft. They are looking for partners to donate teddy bears and McDonald’s gift cards.

Rev. Cutler also told FOX23 they want this event to happen ahead of Sharika Bowler’s funeral. Bowler, 39, was killed by the gunman at the Memorial Day weekend festival.

He said they are still working on a time, but if anyone is interested in donating, they can email pastorcutler@stmarkbc.com.

>>>MORE: Neighboring cities offer support, counseling to Taft residents after deadly shooting