One mile and 4 days separate 2 deaths in York, community left to find a way to cope


A York City community is grieving after two men were killed in a span of four days.

CBS21's Brandi Proctor spoke with family members who are holding a vigil for a man who died on Tuesday.

The memorial at Girard Park is for 25-year-old Oscar Cherry III. He died after being punched Monday night by a teenager.

SEE ALSO: COURT DOC | Man accused in fatal fight told police "I didn't hit him that hard"

While a suspect is in custody, community leaders are hoping to change the young people in their area.

"He was such a good kid," John Beck said. "Always had a big smile on his face, hug me, give me a high five, ask me how my day was."

Beck works with Stop the Violence York and worked at York High when Cherry was a student.

"No one ever deserves it, but especially someone like Oscar. It's really hard," Beck said.

SEE ALSO: Arrest made in connection to fight that killed 25-year-old at York Co. park

He heads up Stop the Violence York and his business became personal when he realized Cherry was the latest homicide victim.

"Just seeing the community fall apart, find out who it was, tore me up," he said.

This community was already grieving.

SEE ALSO: Police: Man dies after being shot outside York City home in targeted attack

Just last week, Collin Smith Jr. was shot and killed only a mile away from where Cherry was assaulted.

Collin, affectionately called "CJ," lived on the same block as the Girard Park, his house facing the basketball court where Cherry was attacked.

CJ's mother actually came out to pray with Cherry before he was taken to the hospital.

SEE ALSO: Police launch search for man accused of killing man outside of York home

Police are still looking for Dion Beard in connection to CJ's death.

Community leaders say guidance can help.

"A lot of the crimes that have been happening lately have been youth, teenagers, all very young kids," Beck said. "A lot of fistfights. Sometimes they're just shooting in the air, other times actually at a target."

York City Police say it is a constant struggle to deal with juveniles in the parks. Crime advocates say neighborhood wathces and community presence can make a big difference.

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