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Columbus homicide spike has parents accompanying their kids to many friend's funerals

So far in 2017, 130 people have been killed in homicides in Columbus, many of them young people (WSYX/WTTE)

Bloodshed on Columbus streets this year has taken the lives of more than two dozen young people.

"Now every time you turn around, it's like everybody's child is gone," said Alicia Austin, "how do we comfort that?"

Austin says she's had to have several painful conversations with her 14-year-old daughter, before they attended the funerals of some of her school age friends who have died from senseless violence.

"You have to speak to them and let them know it can happen to you," said Austin.

130 people this year have been murdered in Columbus, nine homicides shy of the deadliest year on record. That's 1991, when 139 people were killed.

The city's spike in homicides has claimed its share of young people. More than 20% of this year's victims are 21 years of age and under.

"I feel that the churches are filling up now with more young adults with their heads hanging low because their friends are gone," said Carla Parks.

"It's heartbreaking and discouraging," said Pastor Frederick Lamarr with Family Missionary Baptist Church on Oakwood Avenue.

The Pastor is now fighting the violence inside his church parenting classes, by offering ways families can build relationships.

"More homes are broken, you get single parents struggling," said Lamarr.

The pastor about to go beyond the classroom, and is planning later this week to unveil a four point plan, community groups can use to stop the neighborhood crime.

"The problem will continue until somebody steps up to the plate," said Lamarr.

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